With another school year beginning, I am reminded of my own school days many years ago. Many an impact is made in the hearts of our youngsters attending school, but this memory is priceless to me. After my family moved back to Clifton, NJ, there was a verse which was our prayer at the close of every school day during 5th and 6th grades at Passaic Christian School. Under Mrs. Marie (Rev. Dick, Sr.) Oostenink's teaching, we memorized many Scripture passages, including this prayer: “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, My strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)
It was a prayer that had settled itself in my mind though, admittedly, I had not always valued its place in my life. Still, it has often come to my thoughts over the years, reminding me of the two-and-a-half years at that school and the friends I’d made. It also reminds me that just like we as youngsters need training and guidance, so do we as adults need reminders at times. We often hear of negatives spread by gossip. Maybe we tell half-truths to make ourselves look better to others, think we can hide behind electronic gadgets while taunting, or allow our thoughts to travel beyond the appropriate.
Owning my own frustrations when overwhelmed, I’ve spoken words in haste, words regretted, words apologized for. I could have found a better way to express myself, to affirm the right way to handle difficult situations with God’s loving words as guide.
In asking forgiveness from others, we also go to our Lord in confession, receiving forgiveness from Him. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, or where we’ve been. As we humble ourselves, He accepts our confession and guides us on our path forward. . . so that our words, our thoughts, and our actions will bless others and bring honor to Him.
Because when the words and meditations of our heart contemplate praise and thanksgiving, we bless someone who might be hurting… sharing joy and laughter together from the depths of our heart… even shedding tears for a friend’s loss or difficulty… simply letting them know how much we care.
For “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NASB)
Often, we have no idea how our words and actions affect others now or in the future, especially during our school years. But, as we endeavor to speak and meditate on what is worthy and acceptable to our Lord and Redeemer, we will be a blessing to those around us!
Meditations of My Heart
Linda A. Roorda
The years have shown me to value Your love
A love that seems deeper than when I was young.
But sometimes the trials that life brings to bear
Cause my heart to tire with weakness exposed.
It doesn’t matter who I am now
From where I’ve been You accept me still
Your arms open wide with an eternal love
As I say thank You for blessing my soul.
Thank you for guiding my life on this path
Thank you for saving my soul from sin’s wrath.
Thank you for words which praise your great name
Though I am prone to wander away.
Thank you for calling me gently back home
Back to your side with mercy and grace.
Thank you for blessing my soul with your peace
With praises to sing for loving me so.
For Lord you hold me in the palm of your hand
Sovereign and loving, protecting and guiding.
Yet what can I give to the One with all?
Showers of love to those all around.
As I press onward to a higher goal
Walking Your path to follow Your lead
With praise and honor for You, my Lord
In all that I do and all that I say.
And “May the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart
Be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord,
My strength and my redeemer.”