July 26, 2019

July 26, 2019

July 26, 2019
Psalm 138
by Charla Sherbakoff
Pastor of Second UMC (Knoxville, TN)
Tennessee Valley District

The author of Psalm 138 (attributed to David) gives thanks to God for a time when God pulled him through a tough or challenging situation or season of life. Perhaps, the psalm writer experienced the dark hole of depression or addiction. Could it be sickness or financial troubles? Did the psalmist cry out to God on the battlefield while surrounded by the enemy?

All we know is God heard his cry. The storm in his life has ended for a while. More storms are surely to follow. Yet, the psalmist continues on with praise and thanksgiving!

For us, summer offers plenty of sunshine and storms. An unexpected summer storm may bring a torrential downpour and strong winds that leaves us soaking wet, rearranges the patio furniture, and downs trees. Other times, you know the storm is coming so you prepare by taking cover. Either way, the storm comes.

The psalmist gives thanks God brought him through the storm. He shares what God has done with his faith community. He says to God, “I give you thanks with my whole heart.”

We are so often eager to share our concerns, but there is also power in sharing our thanksgivings for all God has done, is doing, and is going to do. To give thanks with our whole heart is to worship God through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

The psalmist knows more trouble will come. He will once again be caught in another life storm. Yet, he trusts God will walk beside him in the storm.

I don’t know where you are. You may be in the middle of a torrential downpour. Or, the rain has stopped and you’re trying to get out of your wet clothes. Perhaps, you’re basking in the sun. Wherever you find yourself, God’s love is big enough to hold you. God hears your pleas and cries and even your anger. God’s love reaches to the depth of your deepest pain. Even death cannot loosen God’s embrace.

God longs to hear our thanks and praise. More than that, I’m beginning to grasp that God longs for us to share our thanks and praise with one another too.
“But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.  For David says concerning him, I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope (Acts 2:24-26).

Prayer: Thank you, God, for infusing us with the strength to weather any storm that comes our way. May we worship you with our whole heart through Jesus Christ. Amen.