“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12

“Are any among you suffering?  They should pray.  Are any cheerful?  They should sing songs of praise.”  James 5:13

Ten lepers, unclean and ostracized, cried out to Jesus in their suffering.  Prayers answered, miraculously cured, just one, 10%, sang a song of praise, of gratitude, to Jesus.  

We feel sick, if not suffering with frightening and painful disease, perhaps with painful emotions – loss of a family member or friend, loneliness, worry and anxiety.  As we sit by bedsides, listen to dreaded phone calls, read the newspaper(!), as human beings our first thought is our loss … what am I going to do?   How will I get by?  Can I stand any more of this?  The suffering we prayed would go away, only seems to grow.  Overshadowed by our loss, the joy of salvation must wait.   

Monday is a day of remembrance and honor.  We remember loved ones whose journey on Earth has ended, perhaps with flowers and a graveside visit, maybe a tear.  We will especially honor those who gave, if not their lives, their time to defend our country and in many cases, other nations as well.  Letters and diaries tell of loneliness and fear, suffering.  We can only imagine the prayers, last minute, with no time to write.  Jesus knew his time was running out, went into a garden to pray, and then died so we might live.  

We listen to names and remember with gratitude for service and sacrifice for country and freedom; for time together, nurturing and life lessons, laughter and love of family and friends; a gracious God who would sacrifice a Son to save us.     

“Lord of all, to thee we raise this, our joyful hymn of praise.”  May I be in the 10%, along with that leper of long ago, who remembers to thank you, and give you glory.  Amen  

Verla Olson