You who fear the LORD, praise him!
This week has been one in which my first reaction has not been to praise the Lord. I watch loved ones around me suffer under their own man made gods. The pain and turmoil threatens to pull me in as I desperately hold their hands and attempt to pull them toward our Father.
Only the pulling never seems to work. They cling to themselves and refuse to see the LIGHT and my heart bursts inside me. Every tiny bit of their life that crumbles seems to take a bit out of me.
Psalm 22:23 shouts at me to praise the Lord, and I try, and I try, and I try, but my heart is mush, and I don’t want to praise.
I see pictures of third world countries and remember my dream to live in one of them. I grew up dreaming of living in a land where poverty was a real battle. It seems instead I live in a land where abundance is the biggest problem.
Abundance of choices, money, items. The pull of the abundance is strong, but I desperately want them to let God give them an abundance of Him. To replace the empty abundance with an Abundance of LIFE.
But they don’t believe that exists. And so my heart breaks a little more, and I return to Psalm 22 confessing to God my angst.
He speaks Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
And I begin to breathe. And I SACRIFICE my feelings and my aching heart, and my need for others to find Jesus, and I pray through Psalm 41 and praise the Lord with words from His Word.
You Lord will deliver and protect. You will be called blessed regardless of the circumstances. You alone sustain us and give life. You are gracious and delight in me. You have upheld me and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be your name forever.
A sacrifice of praise… the sacrifice of myself in order to praise the Lord brings about peace.
This peace reminds me who is really in control and gives me perspective.
Perspective allows me to sleep at night. Perspective allows me to see God at work around me. Perspective…
So I will wake up again tomorrow, open my front door with a smile, love with a broken heart, listen intently, and trust God’s plan. I know without a doubt His plan is best.
I write my weekly posts because I desire to share what God is teaching me and not only hold myself accountable but hopefully to help connect others to God as well. If your heart is similar to mine, check out Ann Voskamp’s site. She is offering a scholarship to what seems to be an amazing conference. I think we should all enter and be encouraged to chase after God a bit deeper!