I will praise Thee, O LORD, with my whole heart;
I will show forth all Thy marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in Thee:
I will sing praise to Thy name, O Thou most High.
Four words in particular jumped out at me right from the start of this psalm of praise: “with my whole heart.” There are times when I do what I’m supposed to do, but not with my whole heart. And because I felt that way just yesterday regarding a task on my to-do list, these four words shone brightly as a gentle rebuke against the backdrop of the half-heartedness so fresh on my mind. It was just a mundane chore, and yet the Lord tells me in His Word that whatever my hand finds to do, I am to do it with all my might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). He reiterates this command in the New Testament, in Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Heartily… with my whole heart. Not only my worship and praise, but also the cooking, laundry, cleaning, yard work, piano and guitar practice, singing, artwork, and writing. Everything I do should be done with my whole heart. Oftentimes that is exactly the way I work. But if I only do most things with my whole heart, then I have not obeyed my Lord.
May Reinhold Neibuhr forgive me for my own take on the Serenity Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father,
Please show me what You want me to do
And strengthen me to do it with all my heart.
Teach me to discern when I ought to say no,
Then give grace for the one
And courage for the other.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved
Photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, 2014
Written June 28, 2017