It has been a hard week by anyone’s standards. Twenty-eight hours and over two-hundred miles separated the two funerals I attended. Yes, it has definitely been a hard week.
Myasthenia gravis and stress do not play nice together either. Physically, I have been markedly stronger, but if I thought getting on prednisone was hard; getting off is harder.
Lamentations 3:19-21, “I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all-oh, how well I remember-the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope.” MSG
I could tell you what else is wrong with my life, but I won’t. It would be depressing and quite frankly dangerous. I was tempted to go there once, but I was afraid I might never come back. CLICK HERE if you missed that post. Instead, I will tell you what is right. Because more is right than wrong and I want to focus on that. It’s a choice.
So what’s wrong with your life? Wait, don’t answer that.
Do you have your health? Praise God. If not praise God for the health you used to enjoy. Does anyone love you? Praise God. If not, praise Him anyway. Do you have friends, pets or connections at church or even on social media? Praise God. Is the sky blue and the grass green and the leaves tinged with color hinting at fall? Praise God. Do you live in a country where you are safe and free? Praise God. Do you know where you will sleep tonight? Praise God. If not, praise God for balmy temperatures. Have you eaten today? Praise God. Do you have clean water to drink and a hot shower available? Praise God. Many do not.
Unlike the people with whom I share genetic material, my husband’s family has some musical talent. His cousin sang these lyrics at her father’s funeral.
Her eyes brimmed and her voice quivered ever so slightly for one brief moment. Although she sang with barely contained emotion, the sentiments of the melody were not forced. She believed it. I do too. Praise therapy is a technique I recommend in my Prescriptions for Anxiety, which I would love to send to you if you sign up by entering your email address.
SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
It’s counterintuitive to utter heartfelt praise in the face of unspeakable loss, yet for some followers of Jesus Christ it comes naturally. I suppose to a degree it depends on how closely you are following. No matter what your circumstances, praise God. Do it if you feel like it, and especially if you don’t.
Hebrews 13:15, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” NIV
Even if your present situation is dismal, your circumstances are dire and your future is bleak, you can have hope. Eternal hope. But you will have to keep a grip on it. A firm, desperate grip.
Romans 5:3, “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” HCSB
Rejoicing in our afflictions is how we start. It is not easy. No, it can be excruciatingly difficult, but, it produces hope. And couldn’t we all use a little hope? Hang in there.
Colossians 1:5, “Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.” NKJV