Gracious God, I am aware that it was not my willpower that got me through the day but your wise counsel that guided my way. Day is done and I lay aside my cares, trusting that you will use my gifts as a blessing for others. Cradle me in your everlasting arms, O God, as the sunset comes and night falls and the busyness of the day is over. In faith I cast my cares away. In Christ’s love I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: April 24, 2021
Psalm 116:12-17 (ESV)
12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
“How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?” (Psalm 116:12)
“The Deepest Man on Earth,” Herbert Nitsch, might appreciate today’s psalm about the depths of God’s goodness. No, he’s not a mustachioed philosopher like Friedrich Nietzsche. He’s a champion free diver who has plunged, without oxygen, to a depth of 253 meters below the surface of the sea. Now, imagine Nitsch ambling along the shoreline of God’s “ocean” of goodness. Not even he could hope to reach the seafloor!
Just as wee can’t fathom the depth and breadth of the ocean, we can’t fully understand “all the good” God has done for us (Psalm 116:12). Think about it. He has given you the gift of life – with all its opportunities for growth, knowledge, and love. Though you may face challenge and hardship, you’re growing closer to the God who has himself overcome death and the grave. Each new day that he gives you is an adventure story waiting to happen. It’s where he pursues you through the currents and breakers of life.
What’s more, you were dying without him. We all were. But as today’s Gospel reminds us, Jesus is the Bread of Life that revives us. Truly, the cross marks the deepest abyss in his ocean of love. Upon it, he provided for our salvation, and from it, he began a project of transformation, forming us into the people we were created to be.
While you live on this side of the ocean, you have been adopted into his family, the Church. Through your brothers and sisters, God speaks words of Spirit and life. When you stop to consider the relationships you have already been blessed with and the ones you will discover in the future, you can surely see that you are wealthy beyond imagination.
Can we “make a return” to the Lord for all of his goodness (Psalm 116:12)? Never! After all, we can’t hope to repay what we cannot even comprehend. Still, as the psalmist professes, we can keep our “vows” to the Lord. Think of marriage or religious vows. They are both deeply personal and decidedly public. In the same way, let your love for the Lord illuminate your heart and light up your face!