I would like to say that “in everything, I give thanks.”
But both heaven and my husband know that’s not true.
I’m the solve-a-problem-by-preventing-it type… which means you actually have to pre-think problems in your head to solve them before they start. I am fairly decent at doing this for the day-in, day-out stuff. Packed diaper bags. Pre-snacked children. Plenty of gas in the car. Electronic tickets screen-shot vs. trusting wifi to open the email when I need them.
I’ve saved myself a lot of angst with this pre-thinking thing I do.
But you see, this Forethought Super-power comes at a price.
It requires I focus on the “bad” more than the “good.” The negative “what-if.”
And often, it’s hard to be thankful for bad.
This labeling of something “bad” assumes, of course, that you actually know what “bad” is… but can we all admit that we have a hard time knowing which is which sometimes? Things that look bad on the surface can actually be good… and the assumed good can sometimes be bad. And then there’s a whole bunch of morally gray areas in life that no one can really pin down this side of heaven.
But in this verse? There is no question.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.
What He does is good.
We agree with that in the pews on Sunday and some people give a hardy “amen,” but can we all also admit that it’s hard to reconcile that with junkie stuff that happens? When tragedy strikes? When betrayals hit close to home? When sickness sweeps in? When fear takes hold? When loved ones die?
I’ve never been one to question God’s power.
But I’ll fully confess to questioning His Goodness. More times than I care to admit.
But last night, as I read this verse, something struck me.
It’s easy to read the phrases of this passage all disjointed and disconnected… like David was just sitting there going, “this truth sounds good. Oh, and this truth sounds good. I’ll just smoosh them together in a verse, I think.”
That’s not the way poetry— specifically Hebrew poetry— works. There is parallelism and cause and effect. We see that all over the psalms.
So here we go.
Give thanks to the Lord.
Because He is good.
Because *His love endures forever.*
We like to believe that the love on this earth is eternal, don’t we? I say to my husband and my children “I will always love you” and I mean it more than I mean anything. I can’t imagine the love I feel for them breaking. My heart may break in the loving, but my love? Surely, that will be steadfast.
We want that to be true with every fiber of our beings; but there are no guarantees with love or life. Whereas I believe that love is a choice, and we need to choose it every day, and we will always keep choosing it… the fact of the matter is, we do stop loving sometimes. We claim to love people, but hurt them. We choose ourselves over the object of our love, and harm the bonds between us. We break promises. We break vows. We break hearts.
But not Him.
We can always give thanks, not because He does good (He does). Not because He is good (He is).
But because He, as Love, endures FOREVER. And forever, loves us perfectly.
With Jesus, there is no altering, when alteration finds.
There is no bending with the remover to remove.
He, as Love, is ever-fixed…