|I am perfectly capable of looking past the very great blessings in this photo while focusing on the crabgrass. Praise changes my mind and heart.|
I am ashamed of my reluctance to give the Lord the praise that is due His name. I hate to admit that my self-talk probably runs like this: I'm so sad about Mom, and weighed down by worries about the future, and I don't feel well, and things haven't worked out the way I thought they would, And thus I avoid the sweetest portion of focused time with the Lord, because nothing but praise brings us more expediently into His presence. Our worship of God has nothing to do with who we are, or our circumstances; it has to do with who He is: perfect, beautiful, unchanging, faithful, and praiseworthy in all seasons of our lives.
Yesterday morning I drug my tired self over to stand in front of the picture window in Mom's apartment, the now silent space she inhabited for 12 years following her Alzheimer's diagnosis. There is a sweet peace in those rooms, and it is a good place to read my Bible and pray. On this morning I determined I would lift my hands in praise and, thinking the green beauty of an early June morning would fuel my worship, I reached forward and pulled the window shade open.
Branches from the elm tree had blown down in the night. The container I'd used as a water play area for my grandsons had been flipped over and lay at a haphazard angle in the unmown, patchy crabgrass. The weeds in the ditch had become untidy and overgrown due to recent rains. As I stared at all of this a vulture flew overhead, his shadow casting a dark, foreboding path across the scene.
I burst into laughter. I'm sure this is not the response the devil might have anticipated; I laughed so hard that I had to sit down to recover. It was so awful it was funny...overkill, Satan! And when I stood back up I burst into an enthusiastic song of praise to our Lord.
Sometimes, our circumstances don't appear praiseworthy, but this has nothing to do with whether we ought to praise God as He has asked us to do. Our God is beautiful, perfect, and always worthy of our praises. The Bible repeatedly exhorts us to praise the Name of the Lord, not only because it is good, right, and pleasing to Him, but also because it is very good for us. Yesterday praise changed my perspective from how irritating it is to have the yard in such a mess to how grateful I am for rain and, most especially, for my precious grandsons.
Praise the Lord!