This week Monday was my 46th birthday. Birthdays are a great time to reflect on all the ways that God has blessed. Psalm 119:1-16 is a great Psalm to start to the week. Had you ever thought before about what is a blessed life? When I woke up on Monday morning to my wife’s sweet birthday greeting, when I got to spend relaxing time with my family, and with each text, card, and comment I received, I was reminded of God’s good graces in my life. As I sit and write this, I feel overwhelmed by the good life God has given to me. At 46 I’ve lived long enough to know that every day won’t feel like this one. There will be plenty of days that don’t feel good. There will be days when although I know God won’t be any less good, my active awareness of his goodness will be veiled. In those moments I won’t be able to trust my senses. In the darkness faith must be my sight.
Psalm 119 reminds us not only of how to conceive of the good life, but how to live the good life. We all need instructions we need a pattern. Our heroes are those that we perceive as living the good life—the blessed life. The blessed life is a life that is at peace with God and others and only in God’s Word do we find God’s instructions on how to live that life. Psalm 119 is a reminder that we need to let the Word of God become our treasure and delight so that we can know it, love it, and live it. God’s Word teaches us about God, his world, and our place in this world. But not only did God give us the Bible, he gave us a living breathing example. He gave us a hero to follow. God’s Word is the instruction manual and Jesus Christ himself, the Word made flesh, is the pattern for us as Christians.
As we grow in Christ our heroes change because we grow in our understanding of what the good life really is. As you read this you may be thinking of others in the body of Christ who help you follow Christ through their faithful example. Someone might be looking at you as an example right now. This is our joy and our obligation to one another. The fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-26) will grow at different rates in each of us and at different seasons in our life. God uses our church family to celebrate with us in the easy times, but also to keep us going during those dark times when we can’t see God’s hand as clearly. That is one reason why we need each other, so that together we can be conformed to the image of Christ and live the life that God intended for us to live.