“My God, I cried out to you, and you restored me to health.” Psalm 30:2
Life is a gift! Health is a gift! As we enter the summer months now, many of us will go out to enjoy these gifts more fully in the wonder which is God’s creation. After winter, and a spring which has been filled with storms, it is good to go out and stretch our legs in the beauty which God surrounds us with. It is a healing.
But as we grow older, the gift of health weakens. Or as a friend of mine has told me, “We have to stop thinking of ourselves as high school juniors.” Suddenly, there are aches and pains where there hasn’t been before. Genesis tells us that the oldest man who ever lived was Methuselah, who only made it to 969 years. I wonder how he felt when he got up in the morning? I wonder if he could get up in the morning?
Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil
One of the concepts which Christians has received from Judaism is to take joy in this life. That life is a gift of God, every day of it. Although every now and then a strange group does emerge which basically teaches that the best way to serve God in this life is to make yourself absolutely miserable (I have never figured out such groups’ logic nor theology). In reality the opposite is true. We are to enjoy life, even in the midst of pain and sorrow. Psalm 90 even cries out, “Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.” Yes, sometimes life throws affliction and pain and even misery at us. But we are not supposed to wallow in it. Yes, sin and evil are in the world. But they do not have the ultimate authority over us.
One of the tasks, if you will, of a Christian is to enjoy life. Think about that. We are supposed to enjoy our lives. What a concept! We are to enjoy the gift of life which God has given to us, now, where we are in our life now. And, by extension, we are to help others also to enjoy their lives, now. Be they sick, infirm, depressed or even dying. One of the things which impressed the pagans in ancient times was how the Christians would come in and care for the sick, cheerfully, even in times of plague. And this continued to happen over the centuries.
This summer, while you enjoy your life in the midst of God’s grand creation, do so joyfully and thankfully. But also remember others. We have many sick who we pray for, and numerous shut-ins. Do not forget them. Maybe you could visit someone in the hospital (the concept of the hospital was begun by the Church), pray for them. Visit or telephone someone who is shut-in or drop them a card (we have lists pinned to the bulletin boards). It is a time to share the joy of life with all people. For truly now is a time of healing and celebration of life in Christ!