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Psalm 16

Hillary Donohoue

1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,

in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;

their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

you hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;

in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;

because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;

my flesh also dwells secure.

10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,

or let your holy one see corruption.

11 You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

I think the biggest verse that sticks out to me in this chapter is the last two verses, and specifically ‘You make known to me the path of life.’  I will share on that in a second.  But the rest of the chapter I totally share the sentiments of David…including just LOVING being around, bumping into and meeting other believers-or the "noble, excellent” ones (Ps. 16:3).  Don’t you just feel sooooo refreshed and excited when at the store, a park, or anywhere you go when you discover that the person you are talking to is a believer and you are just infused with new hope and joy at being a part of God’s family? I do! I just feel like, “YES!! I am not the only one left who isn’t running after the world and false gods!”  Cause sometimes it does feel that way…like we are a dying population of believers and we are getting swallowed up by the world.  Lately, I have just been asking people boldly when we are in conversation (cause as you know, I talk to everyone everywhere I go…just like my mama!)…and I will straight up ask if I feel like I should, ‘are you a Christian?’ and it brings me so much joy to meet a brother!  
But what I really wanted to talk about were the last two verses.  They are just something that I am so personally thankful for—just that the Lord spared me from the path of death and destruction.  I have watched so many friends turn away from the Lord, and why I haven’t…I don’t quite understand.  I can only say thanks to Jesus for making his path known to me…opening my eyes and transforming my heart to be just soft enough to say yes enough over and over to keep walking with him.  I have been so blessed my whole life with Christian leaders and mentors who have poured into me grace, truth, and love…I wasn’t some leader person who warranted attention from anyone…but God put the right people, at the right time to speak truth and spare me from the path of destruction.  Even back in 5th grade…I remember my mom saying, ‘Hillary, you cannot be friends with ___ anymore and I don’t even want you to walk the same route home from school or go past her house.’ This girl was in my class with me! But I listened to my mom.  And when I was 19, a mentor/teacher/father figure said regarding an ex boyfriend, ‘Hillary, never talk to him again.  Delete his number.  Delete his emails.  Don’t walk on the same side of the street as him.’ And I listened to him. It can only be the Holy Spirit making the path of life known to me…and for some reason, I listened. Obviously I’ve made a gazillion mistakes, but the point is getting back on the path when you stumble off it. 
Now with my own kids, when they are being disciplined, I talk about how when they choose sin, it’s taking a step off the path and that ultimately, when we walk in sin and we step continuously off the path, it leads to death. (The wages of sin is death…) Brynn will tell me after she has made a mistake and repented, ‘I’m getting back on the path mom” and sometimes she tells me, “Mommy, I am stepping off the path” as she is intentionally making a bad decision. Hey, at least she’s honest! That’s more that most of us can say, right?! haha.  
Walking on this straight and narrow path with Jesus is where there is joy and true life…Jesus is our lamp, illuminating our steps.  Let’s take this Gospel message and ask God how we can share it with people all around us…believers and unbelievers alike.  Sometimes it feels daunting when we are surrounded by people with completely worldly, dysfunctional, extremely twisted worldviews….But not only do I know God can reach and wants to speak to each of those people (who seem like 95% of the people I meet…ya know?!)…but also, the harder part to believe for me, is God can use me to reach them and help me to not feel like they are too far gone…or too steeped in sin that it would make me cringe.  I know we can pull people into the truth by speaking when we feel prompted by the Holy Spirit, and telling people What and Who the path of life is, and allowing the Holy Spirit to make it known to their hearts.  
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