At the risk of being repetitive and sounding maudlin, for some of us, this week has been a tough one. For others, it has been a great one…or, perhaps, just a “normal” one. I know there have been celebrations of life and milestones reached, goals met and lessons learned, changes in jobs and in locations. Some of us have experienced profound grief and disappointment and some of us have been the catalyst for those emotions. There have been births and successes…opportunities for joy. Others have experienced changes of the deepest, most personal sort and feel we are forever changed.
What hasn’t changed is the fact that, wherever we find ourselves today, we are loved and valued by God Most High…and He hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still right where He’s always been, doing all that He’s always done: loving, providing, sustaining, encouraging, directing…BEING with us.
Our circumstances and our knowledge/understanding may change. God remains the same. That’s comforting to me. It’s just one of the reasons that He deserves our praise and worship.
Years ago, I found myself at the end of all my resources. It had been, perhaps, the worst week I’d ever known. My husband was battling cancer and it had been a rough time for him. I was working full time and caring for him and our home and I had just reached the end of everything I could manage. I stood alone in the middle of our living room and I just cried out to God. There were no words—there was no spare energy for them. I was simply overwhelmed with grief and I ached in places I didn’t know could hurt.
As I stood there, a praise song came to mind: “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise.” I couldn’t believe that THAT was what God sent me! It just wouldn’t go away, so I began to sing; slowly at first, because it’s really difficult to sing when you’re crying. Before long, my hands were in the air and I was singing much stronger. It was truly a sacrifice of praise at that moment. I didn’t feel like it. It brought the word “sacrifice” to a whole new level for me. I would never have made that choice on my own, but it was totally the right thing to do.
God used that experience to bring me to a deeper level in Him that day. He taught me about a God who never waivers and my need to praise Him regardless of time or place or circumstance. He taught me about drawing strength for the next breath as I used that breath to sing His praises and using that newfound strength to get to–and through!—the next thing I would face.
It will work that way for you, too. For some of us, praising Him will come easily this weekend. For others, not so much. Your challenge is to do it anyway. Take some time and get away from everyone else and just praise God for who He is in your life. It doesn’t have to take a long time; it doesn’t have to be in song; you don’t have to raise your hands or do anything that feels strange to you; it doesn’t have to even feel a certain way—if fact, you may feel silly at first. Do it anyway. Do it as an investment in your relationship with God. Do it because he deserves our praise…do it because no matter what we’re dealing with or how easy or difficult it may be right now…there is always a reason to praise Him.
See you back here on Monday!
Grace & Peace! (and lots and lots of praise!)