|Clockwise from upper left: Detail from an oil painting done by my mother; antique pitcher found in a box of my dad's rummage sale purchases; coffee with 2% milk rather than skim; the rosemary plant on my window sill with our bird feeders outside; and a heartwarming "sunshine post" from Little Birdie Blessings that, by coincidence, appeared just under a weather report for our area predicting sunshine for today.|
This morning I turned my heart to praise. I've earned that praising God as an "ought to" is not very edifying either for the Almighty or for me, and so I asked the Lord to remind me of Jesus, and to help me think about the beauty of His sacrifice for us and of the love of Father God, and to remember the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within us. That did it! Praise came bubbling forth, not as an "ought to" but as a response to the beauty of our Lord.
In times of grief the Lord provides comfort and sustenance if we only have the strength to lift our eyes to see, and if we will ask Him to do so, He'll even provide that needed strength! I didn't do anything right or righteous, I only asked Him to help me to see Him more clearly.
The following Scripture has provided comfort during this time: In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul*. When we are sad, we may think it is somehow inappropriate to enjoy the small comforts God has allowed. In truth, these comforts are a part of the Lord's provision for us and we should not withhold our pleasure in them or our thanksgiving to God for allowing them.
At the top of this post, I've shared some photos of the small pleasures that comforted my soul this morning. I offer these with my love to those of you who are suffering grief of loss today, along with a prayer that you are enabled to receive the blessings of the small comforts the Lord has provided you.
* Psalm 94:19 NKJV