Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.  Psalm 103:1-5

Five promises within five verses; these promises require nothing on my part, but everything on the part of our Great God.

I have 26 rose bushes. Most weekends, you will find me tending to my roses. Some of the bushes have long, prickly thorns, and many times, as I reach to prune a dead rose, the thorns lunge at me and scratch me, or lodge in my arm. The resulting bright red blood plops on the stones surrounding the roses. No worries. I love my roses. I cherish my roses. I feed them, I weed around them, and I adorn my house with roses. They bring me pleasure and satisfy me.

Isn’t that the way the Lord is? We sin, and He pardons that sin. He nourishes us and heals us from our diseases. Our sin had to be dealt with just as the thorn had to be plucked from my arm. Blood resulted. Not only did Jesus redeem us from the pit with His blood, but He has also crowned us with lovingkindness and compassion.

Think of what a crown of lovingkindness and compassion might look like. Would it be a gold crown encrusted with jewels? Would it be a laurel wreath? I imagine my crown as a wreath of fragrant red roses.

Walk with the crown you have imagined on your head. Won’t that satisfy you and give you a smile?

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