1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT
One activity is missing from that list: Praise. Maybe it’s because it is always the time to praise, no matter what else is happening, no matter what other time it is or what other activity is right for that time. There’s something about praise that changes the heart’s attitude, that lifts the spirit, that centers our utmost self and settles us.
This morning as I went to work my heart was heavy, like a big, dripping wet towel. The weight of fear, anxiety and sadness seemed to even weigh me down physically. I took deep breaths and sighs, felt like I was a little piece of lead sitting in my desk chair. It was an effort to smile and greet my co-workers and people in the building. My dear friend, Jenene, asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her and I agreed. She is a patient, loving, listening friend and let me splutter and spurt my frustration, hurts and bewilderment all over her. As I did the pressure lifted. All that pent up “stuff” coming out of my heart made room for peace and a sense of “ahhhhh.” I remembered not to take everything quite so seriously. I remembered that God is in control, that what I face is not different from just about everyone else, and that I wasn’t alone in any sense of the word. My heart decided that it’s a time to praise.
I praise God for:
- Showing me in a few small ways that He is at work. When I can’t see what He’s doing I start thinking He’s forgotten or is taking too long or got busy helping someone else. When I start thinking that, God says “now is a time to wake up and have faith!”
- Giving me some quality time with my youngest making muffins and talking after supper.
- For reminding me as I woke up this morning that His mercy is new every morning and that I need to give my daughter a clean start each day, too.
- For the beee-you-ti-ful sunshine and warm air today! I actually drove home with my window open. Now that is awesome.
- For quiet time this evening with no TV, no noise.
- For a good jog and the legs to carry me.
- For my family, home, pets, stuff, job, and everything else that makes this earthly life tick. Thank you, God!
- For God’s amazing goodness, purity, unchanging nature, strength and wisdom, power and might, artistic ability and imagination. There is no one like Him!
- For music to sing along with.
- For my sister and mom and the fun phone conversations we have.
- For possibilities.
- For a boss who, when giving a reference, was a true advocate for me and my hubby and almost threatened to cause a ruckus if we were knowingly welcomed into an unhealthy situation. I’m blessed to have a boss who is also a really good friend.
- For coconut cream Easter eggs, as sugary and fattening as they may be. They are a little piece of heavenly cloud floated down to earth and put into a little white cardboard box.
- For hope in knowing my life is in God’s hands and I have nothing to fear.
Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is stunning,
astride land and ocean…
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing out!
Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign, he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are gathered,
people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
he soars over all. – Psalm 47 The Msg