Today's reading: Isaiah 12: 2-6
And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. (v. 4)
There are days that it is just plain hard to praise. (There are weeks, months, years, lifetimes that it may be hard to praise.) There are days when "Glorias" seem pointless, and when "Hallelujahs" sound hollow. There are days, weeks, lifetimes when we may wonder if we will ever again feel praise unstoppably welling up inside us, compelling us to lift our hearts and our voices to give thanks to God, to sing out God's name to the world.
But "In that day," the prophet promises... despite today's tragedies, this week's bad news, this year's downfalls, this lifetime's struggles... in that day we will give thanks. Though we can't see it from here, this journey will (will, not "might," but will) lead to a place of praise, where we will experience God's comfort, trust in God's salvation, put away our fears, and draw up joy like water. In that day we'll not only raise our own voices in song, but we'll join together and summon all the nations to the chorus. With God in our midst, the world will become a congregation of praise.
So for today--for this week, this year, this life--even if we don't feel like praising, and even if we don't feel grateful, we can cling to the surety of that destination. We can cling to the faithfulness of God to lead us there and to nourish us from the well of salvation when we arrive. We can voice our praises all along the way, clinging with every syllable to the promise that in that day, there will be joy.