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Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Strange title I know.  I hope that as you read along you will pick up why I titled it as such.  My daily Bible reading practice has almost always included reading a passage from Psalms.  This year I challenged the people who attend the church I pastor to just read the Gospels over and over all year.  (Next year my recommendation will be reading the ESV version of the One Year Bible but that is for another post)  🙂  This time through my reading of Psalms I decided to look for one verse or thought in each chapter and write it in my Moleskine.  Yesterday my reading included Psalm 73.  I would encourage you stop now and read it.  What struck me as I read it was the “Almost…But” that jumped out at me. After telling how good God is to Israel in verse 1, the psalmist then turns around and shows his humanness in verses 2-9.  What sets the stage for it though are verses 2 and 3: “But as for me, my feet had ALMOST stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.  For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Haven’t you ever felt that way?  I have.  You look around at what others have and see what you don’t have and envy creeps in.  It is easy to begin feeling cheated (read verses 4-9 again).  Yep, been there, done that.

But the psalmist is not done.  His answer came, not from moaning and whining about his state in life, but taking it to God!  Verses 16-17 tell us that he wanted to understand and took it into the sanctuary of God and while in God’s presence he “saw” the real truth.  Now comes the good part!!  “Nevertheless (BUT), I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me into glory. Whom have I in  heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

So…when the ALMOST seems unbearable and I want to whine and moan and groan about the unfairness of it all, I am reminded of the BUT of God’s presence, His hand, and His strength.  How about you?  Do you need reminded of this promise today?  I would like to hear your thoughts.