Psalm 107: 1-9 NRSV
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.[a]
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
5 hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress;
7 he led them by a straight way,
until they reached an inhabited town.
8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty,
and the hungry he fills with good things.
Approximately 30 years ago I read a story that shall forever remain in my heart and soul. Regretfully, I cannot recall who wrote the story or where I read it. I hope it will bless you, as it did me. I can only paraphrase it, after all these years.
An old man was known to be a happy individual, always whistling a lot. One day he was cutting wood in his front yard. A passerby heard his whistling. He stopped and asked the old man how he could always be so happy, seemingly whistling all the time. His reply was, “You never know when this might be the best day of your life, so be joyful.” Then the old man told his personal story.
When I was a young boy, I had an intense desire to go to America. I got odd jobs and saved every penny so that one day I could realize my dream. Finally I had saved up enough to buy a ticket. Traveling by train, I arrived at the city where the ship would embark on its journey to America. The very morning that I was to board the ship, I became violently ill and collapsed. I was taken to the local hospital and treated. When I regained consciousness, I was still so ill that I was not allowed to leave the hospital. Suddenly I realized that the ship had already departed, without me. I felt that my whole world had come to an end! When I pondered how long it had taken me to save that much money, I knew that I had lost my opportunity and it would never come again. I was absolutely devastated!
Then I learned that the ship that I was to sail on, The Titanic, had sunk that day and almost all the males had lost their lives. The day that I thought was the worst day of my life turned out to be the very best day of my life. So you see, live each day as if it might be your best day. So yes, I whistle because I am thankful that my life was spared. I have had a good life and I shall be eternally grateful!
When the author of Psalms 107 wrote, “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” his heart was like that of the old man, the whistler. One can hear the excitement in his very words that came straight from his heart.
When was there a time in your life when God, in his faithfulness, helped bring you out of a troublesome time? Was there a painful divorce? The loss of a child? Fired from a job? Foreclosure on your house? The loss of a spouse? The diagnosis of cancer? The psalmist invites you to take a few moments to give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love—for getting you to where you are now. God’s faithfulness is so amazing! That attribute of his deserves our thankfulness each and every day of our lives! Let the redeemed of the Lord, say so!
Every time I attend a concert of The Phoenix Chorale, conducted by genius maestro Charles Bruffy, I undergo a profound spiritual experience. The purity of tone and the beauty of the music lift me beyond this world into another place. Many times, after a piece is performed, I discover that I have been holding my breath! I am so thankful for God’s gift of music and for the opportunity of hearing music straight from Heaven! Let the redeemed of the Lord, say so!
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for your loving kindness–for your faithfulness and goodness. Amen.