When is it the Right Time to Praise?

Some days I can’t get over the beauty hiding behind every corner of life with these four former orphans. “Thank you, God, that you sent my Mommy and Daddy to Ethiopia to get me,” she whispered, head buried in her hands.

And I swelled.

We sat at a table for Thanksgiving, all of us, as if there were never a day before when we hadn’t naturally fit like a puzzle — one into the other into the other. God’s construction.

But then there are other days where every wheel squeaks at once, and I wonder if I might just get lost underneath this canopy of motherhood whose shoes are much too big for me to fill. Life bears in, it bears thick and heavy on my frame which hasn’t quite finished preparing for the calling I’m already walking out.

Then come the questions — shadows over my vision: Who am I? and Where is He? they whisper. They seek to draw me back to the well of uncertainty, feeling low about myself and all that I’m not and having forgotten the very thing which gives me life: who He is.

Enter adoration. Moments of praise aren’t just for the ones who feel all filled-up with praise, but they are weapons of war for those who have forgotten their last song. Praise is for the bored, the broken, the barely-surviving. Adoration is like oxygen, infusing, building and rebuilding … Him into us, and us built-up in Him. You and me, on our worst days, have been given a way out. A way up.

Each Monday, the column of adoration to the right-side of my blog moves front-and-center, here, and I invite others who are doing the same — stretching their heart to lift God’s Word up and back to Him, despite every obstacle the day presents — to add their link below in the comments section. You can link people back here from your post by grabbing the code on the right side of my blog. If you don’t have a blog but are, yourself, a lover of words and of God and of God’s word, feel free to add an adoration of your own in the comment section. Whether there is one of us or one hundred — and even if the words are written “merely” on our hearts — we will give Him the praise He’s due.

+++++

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11**

I look low, heart and body sinking deeper under old sins and old lies. My countenance wears all that I’m not. Whispers of my lack show all over my face.

But You speak of a better way. You reveal a secret passageway, a holy invitation.

Hope.

It seems impossible, but You are the king of the impossible and when I am faced with waves of weakness, You say “it’s go time.” I want to clean up, first, before finding a seat at Your feast, but You say “my feast is where the weak find strength.”

I worship You, God, who offers hope to even my weak me. I praise You, God, who doesn’t call us to adore as an overflow but promises that when we adore, the caves are illuminated. No hole is too dark for Your light. No gap in my thinking or understanding of You is too big for You.

I worship and You expand.

I can’t hope in a better, more clean or holy version of me when all my life is in order — but I can hope in a holy and clean God who offers me Himself as my covering.

You touch my cast-down, disquieted soul, lost in itself and its loss and You call it out of the tomb. You call me forth, God. You take my now-struggle and make it beautiful, even before I’m ready to wear beauty. You turn me around before I feel it’s time.

The praise You call me to, the hope you call me to, requires a confidence which only You can give. Praise seems premature to my flesh, but it is just-in-time for You. I dance when my feet feel like lead, and I find a new rhythm. “A time to dance”, You say over my least-likely moment, my sunk-down-deep hour. And You set the metronome. Oh, God, when I lift my voice to the One who is Transformation with words of praise, I am transformed.

I come stained and leave overwhelmed with all that is holy, all that is You.

I wear You. Rock of ages, You are my garment of light.

 

**For a context to this little space on my blog, read: Why I Adore. You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit).

 

View All Posts

3 Responses to “When is it the Right Time to Praise?”

Recent Blog Posts

When You Find Yourself Hopeless on Mother’s Day

There’s one kind of woman that still makes me cry. She stretches big bows around pink wrapping paper and makes casseroles when the mama is still hobbling the stairs and bleeding after-birth and she might as well start a pinterest account just for one year-old birthday parties — she’s been to so many. But her womb is empty. She laughs as parents recount toddler…
Continue

What Does it Mean to be Successful?

It’s Sunday night, and the only light in our foyer is from the moon, stretching its arm-beams across our lawn and bringing the outdoors inside with its reach. The house is at rest. Finally. It’s as if we all sighed — the walls, the keyboard, the well-loved doormats and me — when the last child turned off her light. Time lapse would have revealed sparkling…
Continue

The Gift of Limitations

It was a rambling college-town that hosted the race that was to be my last for a long time. It is a town where narrow dirt-and-dust roads lead to horse farms with near-perfect views of the Blue Ridge and millionaires shamelessly drive beat-up old Volvos. Eccentric. Every year, the allure of this four-miler, with its humanitarian push and socialite atmosphere,…
Continue

God Wants Our Sad

This friend’s eyes were some of the first to read the manuscript that I’d almost tucked under my mattress, hoping it would only be shared between me and God. As a timid response to the whisper from Him — write your story — I stayed up into the wee hours of the night and clicked away at the keys during nap-times. Then that…
Continue

I Share a Bloodline With The Children We Adopted

“Look, she’s calling you mommy!” said a beautifully well-intentioned friend, wanting to celebrate just how quickly we’d become a family. My little girl was building with legos in the corner and her less-than-nimble fingers needed help piecing them together. She called me mommy when she was hungry and when she needed help in the bathroom, too. We adopted our first…
Continue