“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:10-11, NIV).
As I think about this Psalm, I can’t help but recall my past. There was a time in my life when the commands of God terrified me. I viewed God’s law as a complicated list of dos and don’ts, should haves and could haves. I overlooked the spirit of God’s law (its actual purpose) while binding myself to the letter of the law, of which I attempted to dot every “i” and cross every “t”. I was like the Pharisees of the Bible, adhering to every detailed point. And while I’d like to say that I succeeded at my strict obedience and piety, mostly I just felt more and more lost, an enemy of a God who demanded a perfection of which I was simply incapable of attaining.
Things change with age, with perspective, and with God’s grace. Today, I see the wisdom in God’s commands. They give me direction in a world where it is so easy to become lost. God’s laws are an anchor that holds me steady as the winds and waves of life try to throw me around. They give me a glimpse of what I could become if I strived for God’s ultimate design and desire for my life.
Still, while I seek to live by God’s commands, I appreciate and rely on God’s grace even more. I understand that I could never earn God’s love or favor, and that Heaven isn’t a place for those of us who are good enough. I thank God every day for his mercy and kindness, Jesus’ cross and the empty tomb. Through them I am forgiven and free.
The Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart…” (Psalm 119:11, NIV), not because we shouldn’t share it, but because it is that special and central to who we are.