The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I pray, save my life!’” vss. 3-4Psalm 116:1-4
The psalmist had a powerful story of deliverance that he believed would lift up and encourage the entire congregation of believers. He’d been close to death, perhaps with a dread illness, and had cried out to the Lord for help. And he had been restored to health! And now as he gave his testimony with abundant thanksgiving, he made sure that God got all the credit for his recovery. We hear these stories in our congregations too. Occasionally they’re shared in worship. Those are powerful and moving times. Tears flow as people recount their experiences with tragedy, prayer, and recovery. And always the stories end with a declaration of deep and profound gratitude to God. It’s the most natural thing in the world to give glory to the Lord for healing in every circumstance–and when the whole congregation joins in the thanksgiving, every heart is filled with joy. Of course, there will also be times when prayers seem to go unanswered, and suffering continues. In those times, quite naturally congregations will join in the grieving. But those moments are no reason for doubting the efficacy of prayer! Healing is a mystery and when restoration occurs, it deserves full-throated songs of thanksgiving and praise to God. Healing is hard-wired into the universe, and we should never be surprised when it comes.
Thought for the Day: How do I celebrate healing?