1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
All. Every fiber of my being. Every ache and longing. Every fear and sorrow. Every joy and happiness. Every labor of my hands. Every affection of my heart. God is to the soul as spring drawing us outdoors into the warm sunshine after a long winter. God is to the human heart like the rains after the dry season, bursting the desert into bloom. Children run barefoot in the grass. Even the dowdiest adults take off their shoes and wiggle their toes in the fresh cool green. God is as a cold lake after a long day’s backpacking. God is as the aroma of fresh baked bread – real bread that rewards a day’s labor and patience. God is as grandmother’s welcome embrace. God is as mother with a cool washcloth to a child’s fever. God is as the laughter of a happy thanksgiving table. God is the source and goal of all good.
There is nothing in this psalm that imagines life is easy or free of pain. It knows God is our healing balm not an eternal inoculation. So we see bodies laid out after the chemical attack in Syria, and a mother gently tucking her child in as though he were bedding down for the night. There is no end to sorrow in life, but God is as the tender mother’s caress. God is as the bread freely given in scarcity. God is as the unexpected kindness from a stranger on the road. God is as the voice of truth to those denied it. God is as the day of release to those unjustly imprisoned. God is the surprising mercy, the unforeseen help, the peace in trial, the calm bequeathed by strong and able arms.
And so ever fiber rejoices in him.
If you cannot sense this, find some fresh grass for your toes.