At the beginning of this year I posted about the theme God gave me for 2013, of singing praises to the Lord all the days of my life. “In the good times, in the bad times, in the unspeakably terrible times I would sing praises to the Lord with my whole heart.” I meant that when I wrote it and believed I would do it. What I didn't know is that this Praise Walk was going to be harder than it sounds.
The Sunday morning after I wrote that first post, I woke up to heart chilling news. A dear friend of mine, my lifelong best friend since junior high was very, very ill. I She was in bad, bad shape. I could very well be losing my oldest dearest friend. The words I had written not two days before came back to me, almost mocking me.
“I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praises as long as I live.”
Seriously? Sing praises to the Lord NOW? I can’t think, I can’t breathe, I can’t pray – how am I going to praise Him? And for what? My friend could be dying…how do I praise God though this?
It was very hard at that moment but I started trying to understand what it meant to praise the Lord. It was a command, not a suggestion so it was something I was supposed to do. In the good times and in the bad times and in times like these, I was commanded to Praise the Lord. Ok, so where do I start? I should start at the beginning and praise God for Who He Is. I needed to remind myself Who I was talking about and Who I was talking to. So I began to praise Him according to what I knew about God. I praised Him because He is a great and mighty God and beside Him there is no other. I praised Him because He is the God who sits high and looks low. I praised Him because in His hands are the depths of the earth and the tops of the mountains. And then it hit me. Somewhere in between the depths of the earth and the tops of the mountains was my dear friend which meant she was in His hands as well. Peace began to settle in my soul. My friend was in His hands and He would take care of her. I began praise God for that.
The thing I have learned this January on the beginning of this 2013 Praise Walk is that praising the Lord all the days of my life is a lot harder than it sounds. I also learned how to do it. You have to start at the beginning, with remembering Who God Is and praise Him for it. Beginning there will lead you step by step to the place of comfort which for me was remembering that God had my friend in His hands and that He would take care of her. In the good times, in the bad times and in the frightening and heartbreaking times, we can sing praises to the Lord because praising Him reminds us of why we praise Him in the first place. He is our God and He cares for us. And besides Him there is none other.
Yes I will praise the Lord all the days of my life and even though it's harder than it sounds, I will be able to do so if I remember to begin and end with Him.
What have you learned this January?
Tell us about it so we can all learn something new this month