Psalm 103

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Psalm 103:8-13

One of the homework assignments that I often give to clients is to read Psalm 103. This Psalm is so reassuring of God’s love for us, and it is especially important for people who grew up with an idea of God as an angry, distant, judging father.

My favorite passage in this Psalm is about God being the father who has “compassion on his children”. The King James version has a lovely translation- “he pities us like little children”. The picture given to me by a friend years ago is that of a father beckoning his toddler, just learning to walk, to come to him. The father knows that the child will probably fail time and again, but he continues to be on his knee, encouraging the child and beckoning her forward. The father does not chastise the child for falling, indeed, he knows that the child is just that, a learning child who will fail time and again in order to learn to walk.

So, our heavenly father is that. A loving father who would have us learn to walk to him, knowing that we will fail often, but that our ultimate destination is the father.

That, I think is the intent of this Psalm. Like I tell my clients, read this often, and learn the nature and character of the father who loves you.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your patience and loving kindness with us, Amen.

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