Gratitude for the Gift

Today’s scripture: Psalm 75 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

This psalm makes me think of two radically different types of people. Verse one is about people who are spontaneously thankful from the heart, who recognize God’s awesome works; while verses 4-8 talk about those who brag and don’t respect God’s love.

It’s the people of verse one who are open to the true richness of life — who are truly alive and awake. They’re much more fun to be around than the type of people alluded to in verses 4-8. And there is a substance, an expansiveness, a perspective that makes them much more interesting as well. They’re the ones who realize life is a gift — that this miracle of existence was given to us by God, and that we have the joy and privilege of experiencing it as it unfolds moment by moment, day by day.

This makes me think of my good friend Justimore Musombi from LifeJourney Church. He stayed with my spouse, Dan, and me for a few weeks when he was in Seminary several summers ago. One day we were chatting in the back yard. He talked about how he loved to sit there, surrounded by the trees and the grass in the glory of summer. He said he thinks back to the extreme cold of last winter, to the trees in their barren, leafless state, as they survived snow, sleet, ice, and long, cold nights. Seeing God sustain the trees through winter and bring them back to the glorious green of June helped Justimore see that God can also sustain us through the storms of our lives, and bring us back to bloom and blossom. It was fantastic to sit next to him and hear his passion as he talked. Suddenly I was refreshed, relaxed, energized. God was right there with us. What a joy!

The gratefulness portrayed in verse one also reminds me of my friend Laura Poe from our Oasis small group. She has a twinkle in her eye, a warmth in her attitude that shows that she clearly is delighted with God. Laura shared in Oasis that, not many years ago, she didn’t believe in God. But things changed, and now she has the joy of knowing that, yes, there is a God who cares, who walks with her day by day. When you talk to Laura, it’s evident — you can see that she has tasted the goodness of God.

Prayer for the day: O God, thank you that I can become Psalm 75:1, thanking you from my heart for all that you are (even though I can’t grasp your entirety), rejoicing in your wondrous deeds, giving you due glory for the gift of life.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.