It reminded me of the times in Paul's letters when he admonishes people to give thanks in all things, or to praise God even in the midst of troubles. When things are going wrong, or are not going right, we tend to get into a spiral of despair. The worse things are the worse we feel, and the worse we feel the worse things get, and the worse things get...you get the idea. But if we can take a step back and find even one little thing that is praiseworthy, or for which we can give thanks it begins to turn our thought-process around. Even if our thanks is only that whatever happened wasn't worse it helps us to put things into perspective. Even if our praise is just to claim that God is with us in our difficulties it helps us to no longer feel we are facing the troubles alone. Sometimes all we can do is thank God that we're still able to put one foot in front of the other, but it is enough.
Loving God, it is easy for us to sing your praises when we are on the mountaintops of our lives. It is much more difficult when we are deep in despair. We cannot sing the songs of Zion when our lyres are hung on the willows and we feel we will never emerge from the depths of our misery. But it is precisely in those times we most need to sing your praises, even if it is a quiet and tentative song. Fill us with your Spirit in all things so that we might have the courage and strength to give you thanks, whether in good times or in bad....Amen.