103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all (every bit - nothing left out) that is within me,
bless (make Him happy with my praise of) his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits (why is it so easy to forget these?),
3 who forgives all (every bit - nothing left out) your iniquity,
who heals all (every bit - nothing left out) your diseases (indeed, the life in my body that enables it to recover from sickness is all from Him),
4 who redeems your life from the pit (again and again, as I lose myself once more in the pit),
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy (oh yes! love and mercy that endure through a thousand failures and missteps - what a splendid crown!),
5 who satisfies you with good (if it were up to me, I'd be dissatisfied with good - always looking for something "more" that is really far less - but He teaches me to be satisfied and more than satisfied with what is truly good).
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's (woohoo!).
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed (wait patiently - it will yet come).
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel (how wonderful for God to choose this little people).
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious (not giving us what we deserve and giving us what we don't deserve),
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (how sweet the endless undeserved good).
9 He will not always chide (not like my wounded pride, which constantly chides me),
nor will he keep his anger forever (not like the resentment that gnaws my heart).
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins (that's for sure),
nor repay us according to our iniquities (whew!).
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him (this is incomprehensibly wonderful);
12 as far as the east is from the west (keep going...),
so far does he remove our transgressions from us (they are gone! - all of them!).
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him (the good father, the one who runs to meet the prodigal son).
14 For he knows our frame (better than I know it myself);
he remembers that we are dust (how often I'd rather be more than dust - a superhero - but I wear myself out trying) .
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more (the promise was that we'd be like gods - but on my own I can't be. I'm too weak and wilt like grass under the summer sun).
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him (in His love, I will live from everlasting to everlasting - as enduring as His love),
and his righteousness to children's children (thank you, Lord, for loving my children better than I can),
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments (by your grace, Lord...).
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all (everything - nothing left out - He is Lord).
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels (yes!),
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts (yes!),
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works (yes!),
in all (every one, none left out) places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul (Amen and amen) !