Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Power Of Praise

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Perhaps it was because I am still not feeling very well.  Oh sure, I've been pressing on doing everything from school programs to field day to beach time to field trips and everything in between.  But I have still been feeling poorly, fighting sinus issues that are wearing me out.  Have you ever noticed when you aren't feeling well physically, you are more vulnerable emotionally?  When my eyes opened and my throat still felt sore and my body weary, my mind also felt cluttered and my heart overwhelmed. Questions without answers surfaced.  To do lists loomed.  Stress tugged at the covers.

After getting everyone off to school, I spent some extra time in Bible study. Interestingly, one of the passages my David study took me to this morning was 2 Samuel 22:1-51, a long chapter where David praises God for His deliverance from the Philistines.  David's song of praise calls God his rock, his fortress, his deliver, He who is worthy to be praised, who saved him from his enemies, who was his support, who is his strength and power, who is the one and only God.

Reflecting on the passage, Beth talked about how we need to celebrate old victories once more and new victories for the first time.  How we need to remind ourselves of God's faithfulness.  She asked us to ponder how we could make celebration a more regular part of our relationship with Christ, a more regular occurence in our life.

I took some time to journal some victories both past and present, some battles the Lord has won in my life.  I thanked Him for those.

Then I turned up the praise music.  I had sheets to wash and laundry to fold and a sink full of dishes to attend to, but I did so to the soundtrack of praise.

The first song my Kari Jobe Pandora station cranked out was her song You Are Good.  Over and over, I heard these words...

Every day, I'll awaken my praise
And pour out a song from my heart
You are good, You are good, You are good
And Your mercy is forever.

Your kindness is forever 
Your goodness is forever
Your mercy is forever, forever.

My mind settled down and became more focused.  My spirits were lifted.  The burden felt lighter.

My initial thoughts which overwhelmed were replaced with thoughts that overcame.

I continued my chores and my day with an intentional spirit of praise and celebration.

It's not that I listened to some worship songs and, zap, all my questions were answered, my body was healed, and my problems were solved.

No, it's not that at all.

What is true is that when I awakened my praise, my focus shifted from my hurts to His kindness.  From my stresses to His goodness.  From my failures to His mercy. From me to Him.

And that is the power of praise.

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