Grass and Gratitude
Scripture Reading — Psalm 103
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone. — Psalm 103:15-16
I’ve read an account by a Christian brother who, while hospitalized in critical condition, had an overwhelming experience of gratitude. He describes lying quietly in a melancholy hush that had settled over the intensive care unit at two o’clock in the morning. There was no warning, no preparation.
Then, alone in the dark that morning, his spirit was suddenly possessed by something he concludes was gratitude. He said it came on like a seizure, a fit of frenzy, of pure unadulterated joy.
In that moment he realized how fragile and fleeting life is but also how precious and miraculous it is. He said he’d been so busy in his life that he’d almost forgotten the gift of life he’d been given. In his whirlwind of gratitude, all he could say were the words of Psalm 103: “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
With words both simple and haunting, the psalmist reminds us: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone.” Though these words may give us pause, they do not lead us to despair. For we can also be sure that “from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him.”
God’s love is with us and will not let anything separate us from him (see Romans 8:38-39). Praise the Lord!
Lord, today we are reminded how fleeting and precious life is. Receive our thanks for this incomparably good gift. In Jesus’ name, Amen.