Monday, June 24, 2013

Psalm 1

From the New Living Translation

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers. 
 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night. 
 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.
 But not the wicked!
    They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 
 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
    Sinners will have no place among the godly. 
 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
    but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

This was my introduction into the world of using the Psalms to help me when melanoma became part of my life in 2008. I am confident the Holy Spirit drew me to the Psalms, and draws me still. I started with this first one and worked my way through the entire book. I learned about enemies and God's ways in the face of our enemies. I realized that my enemy, melanoma, was every bit an enemy just like real people were the Psalmists' enemies.

Being a Methodist pastor and an ever-growing Christian, I was already in the habit of meditating on God's Word. I knew where to find Life, but in the times of storm that I was going through, it was very reassuring and strengthening to think of myself as a "tree" with my roots instinctively reaching towards Life Giving Water.

This Psalm gave me courage to dare hope that I would still thrive and bear fruit for the Lord and that my life was far from "over." Even if it were to end quickly (which it hasn't), that I still had meaning and purpose. This is when I began to understand what melanoma could and could not do and just how limited this disease really is. All diseases, though they can be vicious, brutal, and deadly, are limited in the face of eternity.

I will never wither. Never. The time will come when I will have to leave this earth to keep that track record going. But while I don't have to worry about withering...well, melanoma does. It won't follow me when I run my race through Heaven's Gates of Praise and into Jesus' waiting arms.  It will be left behind. How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so.

Melanoma is an expensive disease to stay on top of and treat, but in God's eyes it's worthless. It's not rooted like me...oh no...it's chaff that's blown around. It goes where it will and strikes as it will.

And it already stands condemned. Condemned. Like every sworn enemy of God's, its fate is decided. I'm just awaiting for Judgement to finalize the verdict.

God is watching over my path and better than that, He travels it with me.

The path melanoma is on goes straight to hell.

How do I know? For the Bible tells me so.

And I am grateful.