Psalm 103:2,5 “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who…heals all your diseases…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
David wasn’t a TV evangelist making outlandish promises about miraculous healing. He wasn’t denying the real value of doctors, nurses, and medicine. But David knew that all people, even God’s people, experience plenty of pain and suffering in their lives. And David knew that, whatever other help we might get, our pain and suffering goes away only when the Lord touches our remedies with his blessing.
Maybe we are inclined to question David’s assertion, “who heals all your diseases.” At this very moment I could point to three or four irritating imperfections in my own health that linger on and on. And yet, I got up this morning with enough strength to go to work. The day will come when the diseases finally appear to win, and all my strength is gone. Then God will bring me to the final fulfillment of this promise: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Until that day, it is true that now the Lord “satisfies your desires with good things.” Some of us have more, and some of us have less. But all of us have our daily bread. If we take serious stock of our lives, and look closely into the details of what we have and experience, the good far outweighs the bad in practically every case—even in a year marred by worldwide pandemic, widespread unemployment, horrific police brutality, political division, and destructive riots. The Lord has given us life and sustenance. It’s one of many reasons we have for praising him today.
I send my parents birthday cards each year. I don’t usually send them gifts. Like so many people who have reached retirement, there is little I can give him. They made a good living. They have a good retirement. They have collected “stuff” throughout their adult lives. They seem to have everything. What do you get for such people? The main thing I can do is show my appreciation. I can give him them time and attention. I can thank them.
In the words of Psalm 103, David urges us to praise the Lord for the kind of God he was and is. There is little else we can give him. He doesn’t depend on the stuff we might bring him. He already has everything. In every way he continues to provide for me and my family.
Though he will put our gifts to use to build his church and care for the souls of others, the main thing we can do is show our appreciation. We can give him our time and attention. Let’s praise him for all his benefits.