When we are suffering - whether from illness or depression or grief or any other circumstance impacting our lives - we cry out to God. But do we take the time to thank God for being there and for listening? Today's psalm reminds us that sometimes we need to pause and just say, "Thank you, Lord!"
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me .. I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, save my life!” Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful. The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord .. O Lord, I am your servant .. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord .. Praise the Lord! (Ps. 116)
We may not all have been near death like the psalmist, but I imagine we have all, at one time or another, had eyes wet from tears or been so uncertain of our path that it seemed like our feet were stumbling. In such times we often feel others don't understand what we are going through or don't want to be around us. We say we are "fine" when we know we are not. In such times, call on the name of the Lord. Pray that God deliver you from the situation you are in. You can be honest, even brutally honest, with God. When the problem is too big for you, surrender it to the God who loves you.
Prayer: God, thank you that you are with us, in times of joy and in times of sorrow. I have problems in my life that are weighing me down, problems that seem too big or hurt too deep for me to handle. I surrender them to you. Take them from me and use them in my life to deepen my faith and strengthen my understanding of your love for me. Take my distress, my fear, my anguish, my anger, my pain - and let me rest. Amen.