Friday, August 8, 2014

Praise

Another week of summer is gone. We've gone bowling, made a sand volcanoes, been to the zoo, made cookies, and somehow, for some reason, we even painted.
We've played in sand slime, had a picnic on our picnic blanket. The boys embarrassed me at the library by screaming. Again.
I've made it to 10 when I counted to 10 about 10 times. I've followed through immediately with a consequence every time. (I think)
I have smiled when I was sad, and mad, and cried when I was gloriously happy.
I've just finished up reading Psalms, and I've found great comfort in meeting God there.
Life is sweet today, almost too sweet. And with guarded hope I have regarded it. Contemplated it. Prayed through it. Wondered where I was going wrong.
Is it strange that at times, I have secretly longed for bigger trials than these? Remembering the depth of comfort I have found in the arms of my Savior. Perhaps fearing that, in my comfort, I must be doing something wrong.


During my darkest days I have pored over the Psalms. I have read about "deep calling to deep", and knew its sorrows. Felt the depth of it. 

But this week, I have found a new kind of comfort in those Psalms.
It's called Praise.
Not that I haven't known praise in my 27 years as a follower of Christ. But I knew it differently, more intimately this week.
I
I knew it as I took in the quiet of an early morning dog walk. The tropical clouds swirling overhead as the sun rose. All of my babies still warm in their beds. Reminiscing on a moment I had just left...a baby breathing softly on my chest,the smallest drop of milk dripping from the corner of his mouth. 
And I knew it as I read one of my favorite Psalms this week, Psalm 103.
" Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  He made known his ways to Moses, his  deeds to the people of Israel: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;  he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;  the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.  But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 
God has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.  Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

This is a time for praise.
"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.  For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business." James 1:9-11It can be easy to think of myself as a brother in humble circumstances sometimes.
But right now, I am the rich man.
I am the man glorying in my humble position. Because soon it will fade. It's grass. Gloriously beautiful and fragrant grass...but grass all the same. It will fade.
But God doesn't change. He never has, and He never will. 
He's there in the swirling sea, when deep calls to deep
And he's here in the summer sunshine. It will fade. But for now, I am so enjoying the warmth of it.

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