First Off…read Psalm 33!
“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord…sing to him a new song…” Those are the words that begin our psalm; those are words that we frequently find throughout the psalms; these are words that struck me this morning that I am reflecting upon.
If you recall, the psalms are written by not only men and women of God but they were written with this understanding that THOSE WHO READ THEM would also be too. So when you and I read them think of them as a gateway into a life so long ago – and yet a challenge to your life today.
So let me ask you: Have you, today, sung joyfully to the Lord? The author is claiming that you who are “righteous” – you who walk with the Lord, you who sing of his praises…that YOU and ME are to sing joyfully. Right now. So have you? She’s given us tons of examples of HER praise (the word of the Lord is right and true (4); he loves justice and righteousness and justice (5); earth is full of his UNFAILING love (5); and then simply look at His creation and the work he has done!).
Again…I ask you: Have you joyfully sung to the Lord?
I woke up this morning with a new week ahead of me. One where I would have meetings with people who are in despair due to the death of a loved one, a meeting with someone who has some limits to their body and mind, a meeting with people who sacrifice their lives daily for others, meetings with people in ministry, meetings with other pastors too. I have kids who have soccer practices and swim practices and music lessons…I am still reflecting upon the week from last where I performed a funeral and I have one coming up next week too. My week so often is full of “stuff” that I often wonder where is my time?
I read the news this morning and we are still dealing with terrorist attacks in England and the response to all of that. We have terrorism happening all over the place, death here within the US, people going hungry, people without shelter, people without love, people without hope. So many things outside of me and things that are within my reach as well.
So many things to worry about… and yet…we’re called to praise God? To sing joyfully to him? To thank him and the things he does? How can that be when there is so much pain going on? When there are so many BIG things taking place?
I think we can easily get overwhelmed by the BIG things in life and fail to see the little things. The fact that I have an opportunity to be and do all these things with people in the congregation I serve and the community I live in. The fact that my kids have opportunities to do activities and figure out who they are and who God is making them to be and the fact that I get to support them in that journey as well. And yes, I still worry about what is happening around the world but I praise God for the simple fact that as God “looks down and sees all humanity” that the Lord will “deliver” us from death (13,18, 19).
There are so many things that we can praise God about on this day…and for me it’s all those little things that we can see and feel that add up and become something bigger than the “big” things that drag us down. And it’s really easy to be consumed by the big things that we fail to see the little things…but those little things are what will sustain us when the big things in life try to take over.
I had a talk this morning with a sister in Christ whom I value…and she mentioned that she thanks God for the trees…and the grass. And that she’ll simply stop and thank God for those, or a bird. It’s the little things that can bring us hope. It’s the little reminders of who God is that help us each and every day.
So…what are you singing joyfully about on this day? That God raised you up one more day? That your loved one who suddenly passed away knew the Lord and knew that their hope was in Him and that He took the sting of death and destruction way? That you have a roof over your head, or one more breath in your lungs? One more opportunity to tell all the people you know that they are special, mean something to you, and that you love them?
This text is a psalm of encouragement for us to see who we are and respond appropriately for all that God has done, continues to do, and will do. It’s a psalm that requires us to look past our consistent focus on things around us and firmly place it upon Him…and thank Him for the simple fact that He is who He is and does what he does.