A New Song

     My husband likened it to playing “Whack A Mole.” As his father was in the hospital struggling with medical issues after hip surgery, the issues started changing by the hour. Nausea and lack of appetite became hiccups that wouldn’t stop, which became a recurring throat spasm, which became a possible stroke … every time the doctors addressed one problem, another one popped up. 

     And then on the sixth day, as my husband was getting ready to return to the hospital for another day of “what now?” the house phone rang. His father , who couldn’t speak night before, was calling with very explicit instructions on how to check the exterior oil tank to measure and calculate the amount of oil left to run the furnace. And just like that, new mercies began to pop up and we were reminded once again that “all we have needed, God’s hand hath provided.” (Great is Thy Faithfulness, United Methodist Hymnal p. 140).

     Our family’s joy from God’s saving help was palpable. Have you ever gone to bed thinking all was lost only to wake up in the morning to see God’s new mercies suddenly in place? When God steps in and rescues us, it is cause for great joy and celebration. Because God’s faithfulness is great, we can always rest assured that our troubles are not unnoticed or unimportant to our Maker.

     In our psalm today, we find words of thanksgiving and praise that enable us express the joy we feel when we have been helped. We are invited to sing to the Lord a new song. God is pleased by our praise and celebrates among us with the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Psalm 149:1-4

Praise the Lord!

Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing God’s praise in the assembly of the faithful!
Let Israel celebrate its maker;
    let Zion’s children rejoice in their king!
Let them praise God’s name with dance;
    let them sing God’s praise with the drum and lyre!
Because the Lord is pleased with his people,
    God will beautify the poor with saving help.

     Our United Methodist communion liturgy includes this phrase: “It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” I love the emphasis on “always and everywhere.” It is always right to give praise to God.

     What would your new song be today? Is there anything in your life for which you have not properly given God thanks? Sometimes we overlook the small things, thinking that such triviality does not warrant attention. But God works in the small things, like the measure of oil in the tank that awakens a man in his hospital bed with urgency of purpose and new clarity of mind. There is nothing we can’t thank God for, as everything belongs to God and comes from heaven above.

     So today, take a moment to share your joy in a new song of praise for the small things. Did you wake up? Praise God. Do your shoelaces work? Thank you, Jesus! Was there toothpaste in the tube? Hallelujah!

New Mercies I See by Michelle Robertson