In 1891, Daniel Hale Williams founded Provident Hospital on Chicago’s south side. At that time, Chicago hospitals did not allow African Americans to use their facilities. Then in 1893, he performed the first open-heart surgery. His passion to save life drove him to do what no one had done before. The author of Psalm 119 had a compelling passion–to draw near to God. In 176 verses, he celebrates God’s word using a variety of terms. He knew he could never discover the greatness of God apart from God’s revealed word. Here is a portion of what he wrote, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. I praise you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word…Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.” We today need to have the passion the psalmist had–to know and commune with God. We can pursue that experience by reading and studying the Bible–God’s love letter to us.
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