Psalm 128: Bootstraps or Blessing?

When it comes to the cross, I believe Christ died so I would have a choice to receive eternal life.

When it comes to the Bible, I believe it is the manuscript of God. Because of this, when I dabble in its pages, I’m afraid to give a false reaction to an audience of God or others.

In late 2010, I began posting my private Psalm studies as blog posts in honor of a friend who had cancer. I  finished the process at the end of 2013. My goal was to share any treasure verses I found in hopes that they would bless her, too. I chose my Psalm blogging method purposefully. Joyful or sad, no matter what life threw at me, I made a commitment to write honestly about the personal applications  I discovered as I read the book of Psalm.

Soon, I found myself wanting to avoid the routine commitment and public scrutiny involved in my choice. However, in my persistence I also found gold. Huge quantities of gold.

Each poetic scribble overwhelmingly led me to see how ALL I perceived as blessing or curse must FIRST pass through God’s permissive will.

In this blogging process I found the writers of Psalms were learning exactly what I’m learning. It seems that God allows good and bad events to occur in my life only if they are specific to the growth plan He has for me.

Because I am a person who holds faith in God very dear, I’m learning that  NOTHING comes about (or dissolves) solely by my strength, capability, perseverance, or good looks.

God’s will is an authoritative mystery to me.

Using Bible teaching, however, gives me possible clues about His strategies.

For instance, lately I’m convinced that much of what God has allowed in my life He’s also made useful, and the use is specific to His purpose of building my ability to TRUST in Him.

It’s as if God’s been “saying” to me, “Your bootstraps or My blessing. Which will it be?”

Read the six verses of Psalm 128, and see how they underscore the blessing of trusting in God.

In my understanding, if the Bible is the gift of God’s intention to men, then the words of this Psalm can’t be there primarily to give emphasis to a prosperity formula, because the whole of the Bible teaches there is no worldly gain comparative to being able to fully trust, rely and count on God.

Good times or bad, my trust relationship with God will be, and is, my ultimate blessing, and this focus is plainly detailed in verse 1 and 4.

“Blessed, happy, fortunate, and to be envied is everyone who fears, reveres and worships the Lord, who walks in His ways and lives according to His commandments.”

“Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord.”

Frankly, if all the God given factors were removed from a situation, the 100% failure rate of the “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” technique would be crystal clear. It’s hard to grasp this truth, because we have not yet lived in a world without God’s presence. (May it never be!)


“Will it be bootstraps or blessing?”

It has to be blessing, because bootstraps break!

My Prayer

Oh God! If I had courage, I’d ask You to rock my world until nothing was left but You. I don’t have that kind of courage. If it is possible, build my trust in You in milder ways, but let it be no less strong, because I know from Your words that trust in You is the ultimate blessing and gain. Get rid of my bootstraps! Amen.


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