The lyrics drummed inside my head.
Yep, many of my dreams have been shattered. I often feel overwhelmed.
“Why don’t we keep a praise list,” the man I had idolized suggested. “Despite our dishonesty and our sin and mistakes, God has shown us mercy. We have been given so many indications that He still loves us. When we get discouraged, we can remember those times.”
“When your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes,” my inner music continued to play.
Yep, he’s a snake, he is. A poisonous, deceptive snake in the grass.
“Will this do?” I showed the man, not yet my husband, a piece of construction paper. I had sketched and colored flowers down one side. The rest was blank.
“And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears.” I began to hum.
Can’t submit to my fears or anyone else’s. Can’t submit to the shame in all the gossip that inevitably finds its way here. Can’t! Resist the urge to submit to those fears. Remember, I have deeply repented. I am forgiven.
Massaging my swollen belly, I pressed gently against the life within. Then taking my marker, I wrote in bold across the top of the page: THANKFUL LIST.
“Don’t let the faith you’re standing in seem to disappear,” I hummed louder, remembering that it was my ex-pastor who had introduced me to this song.
I loved its power. Back before I knew defeat.
“I’ll tape this right here,” I stood tall and stepped to the refrigerator. “Right here where we can always see it and add to it. So our faith won’t disappear.”
“Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him,” I opened my mouth and raised my voice.
Can You really work through me, Lord?
The man I loved stood beside me with a pencil. “Remember last week when the tractor and I rolled over in the ditch and I didn’t get hurt? That’s going to be one of our first praises!”
“Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise . . . .” The music crescendo-ed as together we added to our list.
It’s true, Lord! You DO inhabit praise. Whenever, we praise, You are HERE!
Like the lame man healed at the Beautiful Gate, my spirit was walking and leaping and praising God.
Our God is NOT a negative, fault-finding, shaming God who hates the goats while loving the sheep.
He delights in praise, which means He is delighted when we are pleased and praise Him. Which means He delights in praising us!
Praise is where God lives. Let’s stay in His house.
Perhaps you have an experience where praise has brought God to new light. Please share your experience here.
” . . . thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.” Psalms 22:3
(I am praising God for my gifted photographer, JerryAnn Berry!)