SCRIPTURE: Psalm 116:1-4
Thanksgiving for Recovery from Illness
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
Jeff Paschal shares that, “The psalmist responds with public thanksgiving to God and with public fulfillment of responsibilities to God offered within the gathered faith community. What a marvelous and challenging vision of the faithful life!”
In this time of the pandemic, when many are sick and so many have died, this psalm might be a joyful read for some or a sad or frustrating one for others. Those who have experienced healing will most likely see something wonderful in these words of thanksgiving and be able to relate to them at some level. But those who are still struggling, whether with the pandemic virus or some other illness or health challenge, may experience something much different. Sadness from not being healed or anger from continuing to suffer may not be uncommon feelings.
What I find helpful in this passage is the reminder that God hears our prayers. In verse two it says, “Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live,” reminds me that we are to always bring our prayers to God and God hears them. Our prayers are not always answered in the way or in the timeframe that we want, but they are always heard, and God always walks with us throughout the challenging times in our lives. Hopefully, when this pandemic ends we will all be able to lift prayers of thanksgiving to God, for God’s intervention and for the hard work and sacrifice of so many to help people survive this time.
How has God healed you in your life? Where have you seen Jesus’ healing touch in the lives of others? What thanks to God can you offer today? What commitments can you make with your faith community to live into God’s vision?
Recovering and saving God, with the psalmist, we ask, what shall we return to you for all your generosity in our lives? Guide us, lead us, help us to grow in knowledge and love of you that we might follow in the ways of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.