"Gettin’ His Praise On…."
Yesterday was delightful in every way… not only was it Resurrection Sunday (Easter) which is huge in the lives of Christian believers, but it was also absolutely beautiful weather. This provided a fabulous backdrop for many to celebrate together outside with family and friends.
But what stands out in my mind from the events of yesterday was one little boy (maybe two years old) in front of me in church. He was being held by a parent… and with one hand raised, he held onto (most probably) one of his most treasured possessions, a stuffed animal… and the other hand was also raised in what seemed to be praise to God during the worship set of our Easter service.
Do I think he knew what he was doing? I don’t know… but, there is a huge part of me that believes he knew exactly what he was doing. After all, “out of the mouths of babes and infants, He has ordained praise”. It was a sight to see… and I felt God speaking to me.
“See that little guy, hanging onto his treasured stuffed animal… but raised to Me in a sacrifice of praise? What are you holding onto, Cathy… a treasured possession, that you could as freely offer to Me in a sacrifice of praise as did this little boy? What are you hanging on to… that you need to release to me?”
Well, I’d have to say there are many things that I release to the Lord only to grab them back in the blink of an eye. Why do I / we do that? Is the Lord still challenging you / me in the area of entrusting to Him our ALL … in a sacrifice of praise? I don’t want to just sing the lyrics or read the scripture passages with expectation that change and transformation can’t come consistently on a regular basis in my life. I don’t want to leave one more meeting or church service unchanged. I don’t want to leave my quiet times unchanged. And yet I often find I do. Then, in a moment, He speaks to me… through the outstretched arms of a little boy, whose name I don’t know, but…. HE does.
And He knows yours. And He knows mine. He is asking you and me…. “What’s that in your hand that can be released to Me in an expression of absolute surrender, in a sacrifice of praise…to free you up even more...to worship me even more extravagantly with an abandon you’ve not yet experienced?”
I ask you …. And I ask myself….What’s that in your hand?
Back in 2013 I happened upon the New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year for 2009. Know what it was? “Unfriend”. They used it as a verb, “to remove someone as a friend on a social networking website”…such as Facebook.
My husband asked me right around that time, “What’s your favorite among the names of God?” I thought for only a moment and without missing a beat said, “Friend”.
Yes, I absolutely am so grateful He is my Wonderful Counselor, my Prince of Peace, the Great I Am … and so much more. But when I awaken in the morning and when my head hits the pillow at night, I’m so glad He calls me His friend…that He is my “closer than a brother” Friend. It still amazes me.
We read in John 15:15, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you”. Let that sink in for a moment. I mean, seriously, wow…
We all love to serve Him whenever we can, whether it be assisting an elderly person grab the item they need from the top of the shelf just beyond their reach in the grocery store, taking a meal to a new mother, or visiting someone in the hospital. But beyond the serving, He longs to talk to you, to me…to engage in conversation as one would with a friend across the table at the coffee shop. That’s mind-boggling, isn’t it … to think that the Creator of the universe seeks relationship with you and longs to pour Himself into you on so many levels.
May He reveal Himself to you in ways You had not even imagined could be possible. May you truly understand He will NEVER “unfriend” you. And may you know now, more than ever, that He is your AFFF (Always Faithful, Forever Friend). :-)
Everything within me did NOT want to work out.
It was HOT. And motivation for me was minimal. But finally, knowing I’d feel better afterwards, I threw my hair back in a ponytail, put one foot in front of the other, and went out the door into the makeup-melting heat of a Tennessee afternoon.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I don’t like the word, “motivation”. At first blush, it seems pretty easy. You lack motivation? You just strongly encourage yourself to get with it. But when you feel you’ve totally lost the “desire to do; interest or drive…inspiration, cause”… then what?
Ideally, it’s great to make and have goals…that should “cause” us to drive forward with great speed of inspiration. But when you just can’t tap into the energy necessary even for that, is it enough to just put one foot in front of the other?
That was what I felt I could do that day…just put one foot in front of the other, and that had to be ok. Is that ok for you…to allow yourself to say, “It’s enough for today.” There’s grace for that, as my good friend, Becky, says.
And you know what was so very sweet of the Lord? At every turn, I saw beauty…the spectacular yellow of the daffodils, two bunnies playing next to my walking path, and a couple of butterflies that seemed to keep in step with me, dancing through the air with my stride, remaining…as a continual remembrance from the Lord that He was enough, that He IS enough…MORE than enough for today and tomorrow…grace enough, mercy enough, strength enough…when all I can do…when all you can do…is place one foot……it’s ok, ya know?
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