The oil of gladness and a garment of praise—
I recently read of two orphans who died in an orphanage–because nobody stepped forward to adopt them (even though they were available for adoption). When we turn on the news–nothing but bad news. A thirteen year old friend fights for his life in hospital. Another precious friend tries desperately to adjust to life in a new State after her husband has been unemployed for eight months–the only job they could find took them away from everyone they know and love. Other friends still look for employment. Family and friends struggle to pay the mortgage in a tough economy. Every day I get e-mails from people asking for prayer. Desperate need is all around us.
Today I am pondering the amazing teaching last night of my beloved pastor (and cherished friend). Hope! The word is so easy to use, yet so hard for me to get in my heart. I mean truly get in my heart, to the point where it cannot be shaken. Sure, it’s easy to hope when life is dandy–but when the trials come, darn it’s hard. How do you find true hope in the midst of so many trials we all face on a daily basis? Goodness, it is a tough one.
For me, I get so caught up in it all–the sorrows, pain and tough times that loved ones (and my own family) go through. I know we women are made that way–we are the Father’s compassionate ones here on the earth. I know He uses us all to be His hands and feet to those who struggle. What an amazing privilege that is.
But today I am sensing something else stirring in my heart–to put on a garment of praise! I am choosing to look around me and be thankful, to praise Him for ALL He has done in my life. Times may be tough, people may be struggling, but God is alive and more than able to take care of every need we have. Praising Him in the storm is a choice. I will not allow hopelessness to get a foothold in my heart. This day I will choose to praise God for all He has done, and all He will still do.
I am so mindful today of how much our God LOVES the praises of His people–how every praise we sing to Him is such a sweet offering. This day I will choose to put on a garment of praise, instead of a spirit of despair. All because He is in control. My God IS in control! That is where my hope lies today.
Some of the things I am so absolutely thankful for–the Word of God, a husband chosen by the hand of the Father just for me, children I adore, a hot bath after a long day, the gift of amazing friends, hot tea with milk, e-mail to keep in touch with those I love and miss so much, good health, a church where we belong, a warm home on a cold day, heaps of blankets, a washing machine that washes our mountain of laundry, a stove that cooks our food, lights that go on at the flick of a switch, cars that are paid for, the beauty of God’s creation all around me, chocolate, salad (for a veggie like me), nail polish for summer toes, hair dye, Goodwill, laughter until it hurts, chick flicks (you know, all those seriously important things in life 🙂 ).
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!