Psalm 100:1-2 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
When I have the whole Psalm pretty well memorized in two languages, it can be difficult to focus on a verse or two to hear what the Lord wants to say to me right now! That said, two differences between the NIV and the Japanese speak to me at the moment. The first is where the NIV says “Worship the Lord,” the Japanese says “serve the Lord,” as actually several English translations do. What I’m hearing is that our lives are to be worship, that our very existence is to serve God. After all, He wouldn’t have created us if we didn’t have a purpose in His sight. Far too many people think just going to church on Sundays is serving God, when He wants our whole lives. That ties into the second difference that strikes me, and that is that the Japanese indicates continuous action when it comes to singing joyfully to the Lord. That grammatical construction is repeated twice in verse four as well, indicating continuous thanks and continuous praise. Most of us remember to thank God sporadically and praise Him occasionally. For most people, OMG is just a casual figure of speech or texting! Europe is referred to as a “post-Christian” culture, and America is certainly on the brink. It is sad that it has taken a radically leftist administration to wake up a significant number of believers to what is going on. However, if we will indeed wake up and realize that living with, for, and in Christ is a 24/7/365 deal, then it is not too late. After all, nothing is too difficult for God! (Jeremiah 32:27)
This is something I have had an inkling of since childhood, because of my parents’ example, but I wish I could say I have lived by it more consistently. Even logically, when God is infinite and we are finite, we can’t escape Him, actually existing within Him, so to speak, as Paul quoted a Greek poet as saying. (Acts 17:28) I need to maintain my focus on Him so that I won’t lag in my thanks, praise, and joy. Right now we’re having some real challenges in that area because of Cathy’s pain, but our immediate circumstances don’t change His eternal power, love, and grace. Today I’ll be taking Cathy around to three different medical appointments, and I need to be her “prayer backup” throughout the day. By God’s grace I can do that, and I need to thank and praise Him for the opportunity. I would far rather be doing this than be in mourning!
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that last night was a bit better than the previous two for Cathy, at any rate. We still have a few days to go before she checks into the hospital, and even then we have no guarantee the procedure will do anything lasting for her pain, but we do have You, and that’s enough. Help us rest, relax, and rejoice in You, whatever our senses or our minds are telling us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!