Psalm 22:3 says, “Yet you [God] are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” This verse moves me so much. I find it awesome to think that our praises are the very throne of God. So often it can become so easy to feel lost from God’s presence, like God isn’t there or is far away. I have learned (the hard way) that nothing brings Jesus, and the power and presence of God, closer than praising Him. It is often referred to as the “sacrifice” of praise, because sometimes we need to praise God when we don’t want to and don’t feel like it. Sometimes praising God seems impossible because we feel like the whole world is falling down around us and there doesn’t look like anything praiseworthy exists. But nothing has the power to lift us above our circumstances like praise.
I praise God for bringing me back to Kentucky and allowing me to minister in a setting that I deeply love. I praise God for this old house and facility, and all of the memories these walls hold for so many. I praise God for those (students, directors, others) who have kept these walls standing for almost 50 years. I praise God for the gorgeous autumn weather we are having. I praise God for this computer that helps me get my work done. I praise God for Brenda, our treasurer who cheerfully takes over the financial stuff that ties me in knots. I praise God for the joy of students who just like to be together. I praise God for all of the things we have laughed about. I praise God that our volleyball team played well together and finished the season far better than last year. I praise God for all the times we go out to eat after worship. I praise God for songs that express what my heart feels during worship. I praise God for friendships that make this place a home. I praise God for trees, and grass, and surprises, and a roof over my head, and food to eat, and people to laugh with, and ideas, and new experiences, and failures that teach me something, and . . . .
How would you finish it? What do you praise God for? When was the last time you took a moment to remember and say thank you for the blessings in your life? It is something that is easily forgotten. But nothing will change your day more. Because when we are lifting our voices and hearts in praise, the Lord our God draws close. And we are reminded once again that all the help we ever need is found in that beautiful name, Jesus.
Know that I keep you all in my prayers. I thank God for each of you.