Bless the Lord, oh my soul

A couple of years ago I was babysitting for my friends 3 year old… we got on really well and always had a laugh… but on this occasion she had just started nursery and she was exhausted. For the entire time I was there she cried, and cried and cried. Originally she was hiding behind a curtain but I was able to get her to come and sit on the sofa with me, where she clung on to me tightly and continued to cry. As soon as her mum came home, a simple hug from her and everything was fine again.

Still, as an adult, when things are really tough I call my mum, or I jump on a train up to Birmingham to spend some time with her. I know that she isn’t going to make everything magically better, but just knowing that she is there and is listening, and still loves me is enough. Why? Because she has always been there for me, she has celebrated when I’ve done well, she has hugged when I have been upset, she has told me off when I needed it, and helped me to make things better, she has supported crazy ideas I’ve had, she has comforted when I’ve been sick. Always, no matter what, she has been there.

This week we continue to go through the hymns we sing as part of our worship at the school. I have always loved the songs written by Matt Redman, he seems to approach the song writing process realistically. He recognises that the Christian life is most definitely not all plain sailing, and yet, even in those dark times we still praise.

The song this week is called Bless the Lord, oh my soul… but it is also known as 10000 reasons. The line I chose as the thought for the week is from the chorus ‘sing like never before oh my soul, I’ll worship your Holy name’. The song is based on Psalm 103 which lists some of the reasons why we should praise God including… forgiving, healing, redeeming. There is the suggestion that it is indeed our soul, or as the psalmist says, our inmost being, that praises God, as that is the part that recognises who God is, and what God has done, and cannot help but praise Him for it.

The first verse says ‘the sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning. It’s time to sing your song again. Whatever may pass and whatever comes before me let me be singing when the evening comes.” As I said, there is no suggestion that life is going to be easy, but even when things are tough we should still recognise and praise God.

There will always be times when we don’t ‘like’ our parents or our teachers, we may just grunt at them, but even in those times we still recognise all that they have done for us. Similarly there are going to be days when we don’t understand things that are going on in our lives, or in the world, yet we still praise God because we have reason to. We believe that He created us and knows us, we believe he protects us, we believe he answers our prayers, we believe there will be some thing positive even if we can’t see it now. It may not be exuberant worship with hands waving, and dancing. There may be a lot of tears. But we still go to our Father in heaven because of our experience, and because we have reason. Well, 10000 reasons according to the song!

Challenge: what experience have you or others had of God to praise Him? Will these enable you to praise when things aren’t going well?

Prayer: father God we thank you for all that you have done for us and we pray that each day when we face the day, no matter what it holds we will be able to praise you. Amen

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