Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
His love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
The activity of God in our lives always invites a response that moves in at least two directions: “God-ward” in praise and thanksgiving, and “Other-ward” in testimony and witness. And the evening psalm in today’s Daily Office — Psalm 107 —provides a wonderful example of what this response looks like when it is practiced by God’s people.
Each “stanza” of this psalm follows a set pattern:
- God’s people face some kind of crisis: “Some wandered in desert wastelands” (v. 4); “Some sat in darkness” (v. 10); “Some became fools through their rebellious ways” (v. 17); and “Some went out to the sea in ships” (v. 23).
- Then, because the LORD is good — and because His love does endure forever — “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress” (vs. 6, 13, 19, 28): “He led them by a straight way” (v. 7); “He brought them out of darkness” (v. 14); “He sent out His word and healed them” (v. 20); “He stilled the storm to a whisper” (v. 29).
- In response to God’s goodness and grace, His people are urged to respond: “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (vs. 8, 15, 21, 32).
Of course, observations like this could easily become little more than an exercise in structural analysis — unless we make them our own! What might a psalm that tells your story look like today? For me, it might look something like this:
- Some faced a busy week, overwhelmed with work and VBS and other responsibilities.
- “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.” He raised up leaders, who gave their time to minister to others; and He sent encouragers, who lifted-up weary spirits.
- So I do give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love — and His wonderful deeds for me!
All of us have a story to tell; and one of the privileges that we’re given as children of God is the privilege of telling that story in a way that points other people to God’s goodness and grace.
Psalm 107 concludes: “Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the LORD” (v. 43). May we be wise stewards of the stories that have been entrusted to us. And may God receive glory through all the stories that we tell.