Psalm 71: The Personal Version

I was reading Psalm 71 this morning, and these passages seemed very personal to me.

(For those that do not know, I had acute leukemia in 2011, a bone marrow transplant in Jan. 2012, and then non-Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosed in Nov. 2014. I am in remission from both cancers, but have ongoing issues from the treatments.)

Do not abandon me in the time of old age. When my strength fails, do not forsake me. (v. 9)

At 54, I don’t qualify for old age yet, but I sure know about strength failing! I can testify that God has never forsaken me. I was curled up in bed, having food and water delivered to me—if I even had appetite to eat—and he was always there, always accessible, always ready to give me peace.

For my enemies speak against me … saying, “God forsook him!” (v. 10)

So they did. At least a couple suggested my cancer was a curse from God because they believe I am a false teacher.

Let those who falsely accuse my soul be shamed and forsaken. Let those who seek evils for me be covered with shame and reproach. (v. 13)

I couldn’t go this far. Instead, my prayer was that God would let them come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil (2 Tim. 2:26).

But I will hope continually, and I will add to all your praise. My mouth shall proclaim your righteousness, your salvation all the day. (v. 14)

This was not hard to do, for I knew him as faithful all these years. I also had ongoing support from family and the saints of God. I praised him not just for his salvation towards me, but towards us, for there is no better way to live than inside the church.

How great and evil are the afflictions you showed me, and you returned and made me live. You raised me up again from the depths of the hospital. You multiplied your greatness, and you returned and comforted me. (v. 20-21)

That verse doesn't really say hospital, of course. It says earth. I wasn't raised up from the depths of the earth, however. I was raised up from the depths of the hospital.

I hope there's something here for readers to learn or by inspired by. This is all purely personal, feeling the gratefulness for the love of God, who has rescued me time and time again because he still has things for me to do and people for me to serve.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
This entry was posted in Bible, Leukemia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Psalm 71: The Personal Version

  1. foxterrier911 says:

    It would not be so powerful and inspiring if it were not personal.

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