Psalm 116: Thanksgiving for Recovery from Illness
1I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.
2Because He inclined His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
12What shall I return to the Lord for all His bounty to me?
13I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
16O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving-maid. You have loosed my bonds.
17I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.
18I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
Text ©The New Revised Standard Version, alt, Used with permission.
I am back but it might take a little while for me to pick up speed.
This psalm has a personal pull for me, right now, as well as one associated with a return to church services in Western Australia. Rules related to the size of gatherings and spacing of people have prevented services being held normally, and even though people in my own parish are still limited in some ways we can now gather in numbers we are used to seeing. For that we give thanks to God. The day before this psalm was to be read in church I was rushed to hospital with chest pains. My pulse dropped markedly and my blood pressure was varying rapidly.
Just as with the Covid-19 problem the recovery is slow and changes to lifestyle have been necessary, though not devastating. Just as with Covid-19 prayers have been offered by many people across many nations. Just as with the Covid-19 situation, prayers have been answered. Because the Lord has heard our supplications and our voices, and has included His ear to them, it is time to commit further to Him for as long as we live.
God has given us a new opportunity to worship Him, but are we going to return to our old ways of paying lip-service to Him, or are we going to see the cup of salvation as something we need to share with others? Our commitment should be to pay our vows to the Lord in the presence of ALL His people, not just those around us, not just those of the same first language, or the same skin colour. All seven-plus billion people in the world are His. I don’t see that in the world in which I have to work, and I wonder whether we will have to endure another pandemic before we start to think of others more than ourselves.
I have two funerals to “attend” over the next few days: people who have spread the word and looked after others but who have now been called home to God because they are precious in His sight. I say “attend” because my own health is not up to such events yet.
When we give ourselves to the Lord the love which goes with that giving also calls on us to do our bit, and to praise the Lord. The Hebrew word at the end of this psalm is Hallel, which is a call to praise, so let us really Praise The Lord. Hallelujah!