You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Here in the UK, it looks like we’re finally beginning to reach the end of winter. It might still snow every now and again, but it is noticeable that the days are getting longer. It is no longer dark when I wake up in the mornings, and sometimes I even manage to leave work whilst it is still daylight. In the gardens, the first of the spring flowers are beginning to emerge from the soil. Things begin to look so much better when spring is in the air! The promise of new life is everywhere around us, and people begin to grow more hopeful for the future.
Of course, as Christians, we have a great deal to look forward to. The time will come when Jesus will return to earth, and when he does, all those who have humbly followed him will be raised to eternal life in heaven with God the Father. No matter how bad things get in our daily lives, we will always have that hope, that expectation of better things to come. The Psalmist conveys that very well in today’s verse. Since God has promised us salvation, we can dance, no matter how much we feel like wailing, for we have been clothed with joy. In the NIV version of this verse, the Psalm says that “my heart may sing to you,” but the ESV translates this as “my glory may sing your praise,” meaning every part of our being. The Psalmist is overcome with joy at what the Lord has done for him to the extent that his whole body is bursting with praise. He promises that he will give thanks forever.
As we begin to head towards spring, and our spirits are being lifted by the lightness, the sun, and the promise of new life, what better time to reflect on whether we share the Psalmist’s sense of joy. Do we constantly give thanks to the Lord for all his rich gifts? Maybe we should think about praising God more in the coming weeks!