Three times we hear it in this passage: "I will call on...the name of the Lord." In the midst of recovery from illness, the psalmist turns to the Lord. This is what turns things around. Ordinarily, and in times of illness or recovery, we are often "turned in upon ourselves," as Martin Luther says. We get trapped in the egocentric predicament. In the midst of suffering or pain our feelings can make it seem like we are all alone. Maybe we even want to be alone. But as people of faith, we know that confession helps us make the big turn: we call upon the Lord. Now everything is different. We are not alone. Our pain, our illness, our recovery is God's pain, God's illness, God's recovery. That's what God who was in Christ did for us on the cross. And that may start us on the road to thanksgiving, just like the psalmist says.
Psalm 116: 1-4, 12-19 (NRSV)
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I pray, save my life!"
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!