The opening quote above by Jonah is one of the most inspiring verses of scripture for me – especially its rendering in the King James version. The verse reminds me of where and how to look at life for ways that acknowledge the provisions we have, and the overwhelming virtues about us even in the most desolate of times. It also recalls that anguish often comes from looking away or neglecting the most meaningful effects of life, and forgetting the journey mercies enjoyed on travels already covered. In short, the verse teaches me Focus and Patience.
Earlier at church today, this verse and the prayer of David in Psalm 23 stayed prominent in my thoughts. I find reading other people’s prayers in the bible particularly inspiring and encouraging because they remind me of why it is so important to know how to talk to God for one’s own self; not only depending on prayers offered by family, friends, and clergy. To me, this is one of the more appealing element of spirituality: knowing that you can approach and talk to God for yourself: in your own words, emotion, and peculiar attitude. This is what makes faith personal and meaningful. Anyway, the version of Psalm 23 below is mostly paraphrased to suit how it best resonates with me.
The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul;
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and staff comforts and consoles me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely, goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life,
And I dwell in Your house and presence, forever.