Sing praises to the Lord… give thanks to his holy name…


Psalm 30: 1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3 O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 

The heading for this psalm in the NRSV bible translation is “Thanksgiving for recovery from grave illness”. We are also told it is a psalm written by King David. I can’t say I’ve ever had a “grave illness” personally, but have certainly known people who have – friends and family members who were very, very sick and yet recovered. V. 4 says, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name”. Sounds like a very appropriate response to me.

However, there are other times when someone with grave illness does not recover, but dies instead. We all die eventually, even David. There is life and there is death, two halves the of coin we know as “mortal life”. This morning I’m giving thanks to God for another day to live as a child of God through Jesus Christ.

That said, my wife Jana and I will be going to see my brother Chris today – likely for the last time while he is alive. He suffered a heart attack about 6 weeks ago and transitioned to hospice care yesterday. When someone you love only has a few days to live, each day becomes precious. So many thoughts and memories flood my consciousness this morning: things my brother and I did together as children, as teenagers, as college roommates, as the best man at each other’s weddings, as young men trying to figure out what it means to be a husband and father, as middle-aged men seeing our children become young adults themselves. It breaks my heart Chris will not live to see his grandchildren born into this world. There just weren’t enough days.

But there is today. And so I will talk to him and say goodbye one last time. I’ll tell him I love him and trust I will one day see him again – along with all the other people we’ve known and loved in this life who have already gone into the next life. And through tears of sadness I will whisper in his ear, “Sing praises to the Lord, O you faithful one, and give thanks to his holy name”. Lord, let it be so. Amen.

5 thoughts on “Sing praises to the Lord… give thanks to his holy name…

  1. Marcie Sandall

    I didn’t know you were on your way to see your brother for the last time, when I phoned you this morning. I apologize for the poor timing.

    I have done all I could to help Ralph today, to get a shower from a sub, a shower giver from the Group Home, “4 Seasons”, instead of his regular private caregiver/shower giver who is absent today and absent this next Mon. If he does not get it today, he may or may not get cleaned Mon. LaQuitha is returning Wed. to be his cleaner-upper.

    So, while I am trusting the Lord and being absent from Ralph, I must give this load to God and let him take it from me! Thanx again for asking him to help me. I WILL TRUST HIM!!
    Marcie Sandall

  2. Marcie Sandall

    You and Jana and all Chris’ family and friends are praying to support one another and Chris. When you speak to him, HE CAN PROBABLY HEAR YOU AND IT WILL SINK IN. If not your words, your voice. VERY COMFORTING!
    Trust! (Bring tissueS)
    Marcie S.

  3. Lyn Roger Zastrow

    My prayers are with you and your family. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. God is with us. God is with you and your family.

    • Lyn thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. Saw my brother again yesterday. Can’t believe he’s still with us since there’s hardly anything left of him. Hope the Lord takes him in peace very soon. Love and blessings to you and Marie

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