‘What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.’ Psalm 116.12–13
If we were able to actually recount all God’s blessings to us, we would (hopefully!) be staggered. This list would include everything from life itself to salvation, and would include many instances of provision without us even being aware of it. Sometimes the words ‘thank you’ sound a bit lame!
What is the appropriate response to God for all that he has given us? I am reminded of the story of the man who called out to God when he was in trouble, saying: “If you help me now then I will never bother you again.” According to today’s verse, the correct response is the absolute opposite to this! It is to honour what God has done and keep coming back for more.
The way the psalmist puts it is to lift up ‘the cup of salvation’. This is about acknowledging what God has done and recognising that none of it has been our doing; nothing comes down to our goodness or strength and it is all simply down to him.
The second phrase the psalmist uses is to ‘call on the name of the LORD’. In other words, to keep coming back to God and asking for his help. It’s tempting to see this as selfish and greedy - why should he do more for us since he has already given us so much? There are many possible responses to this question, one being that asking God for help is actually a form of worship. It is acknowledging that we are unable to help ourselves and we need him. It seems he never tires of this!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission