This morning’s selection from Psalm 116 sounds like a continuation of Psalm 84 from yesterday. It started with verse 12: “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good God has done for me?” (as I walked the path of life). As I reflected on that line and the parenthetical implication of what the psalmist was talking about, I was concerned about offering it as a thought for the day because it sounded as if the “path” was an easy one. I thought of all the people who have struggled mightily in life. Images came to mind of all the natural disasters in this country this year and of “wounded warriors” interviewed while doing physical therapy. The line sounded a bit presumptuous of the psalmist (and even myself in offering it). But then I went back and read the earlier verses, those not printed in this morning’s reading, and here is what I found:
“The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow… I trusted in the Lord when I said, ‘I am greatly afflicted’. In my alarm I said, ‘Everyone is a liar.'”
So the psalm doesn’t tell of an easy life for which one thanks God. It reflects the TRUST of those who are able (like the survivors of tornadoes and forest fires or flash floods – and even those learning to live without a limb lost in battle) to pick up and go on, praising God for the life that is still theirs.
So this morning I offer the question of how to make a return to God for all the good in my life. And even if you have to dig deep, perhaps you might do so also, looking at how you found the courage and strength to go on. Can you offer it all to God in thanks?