Today is the 19th anniversary of being married to my husband. I praise the Lord that we have made it this far in this world that is so rough on couples who want to walk a path of being faithful to each other and raising their children right. Most women would be waiting for flowers to arrive or planning a date night for the event. I am not. And still I praise the Lord for the amazing man he placed in my life so many years ago. I am spending today turning in paperwork to my lawyer to accept the beginning of divorce proceedings. And still I praise the Lord for the professionals He gives us to help us through the trying times of life. I am spending today finalizing a time for counseling for my son who struggles with the separation of his parents. And still I praise the Lord for the wonderful abilities He has given both my husband and I to be parents who pour good into their children. I am spending today writing this blog about a life change that may seem quite simply devastating to most. And still I praise the Lord for the love that He has shown me through this man with whom I have shared so much.
We all go through the peaks and valleys of life. We have the joys that overcome everything else and send our spirits to heights beyond imagination. At those times it is easy to praise the Lord for His blessings. But we also have the struggles that bring us to our knees and shake faith in our good God. At those times, we forget to praise Him for anything. We forget to praise Him for the breath that still comes from our lungs. We forget to praise Him for the homes we have or the people He has placed in our paths. We forget to praise Him for the experiences we learn from and the strength that He gives us to get through the days. We forget to praise Him for the small victories and the fleeting smiles that pass through everyday moments. We forget to praise Him for sending His son to die on the cross for all our sins, every single one, and for loving us no matter how much or little we seek Him. We forget, or we choose not to, or we blame Him for our pain, or we turn away from Him in spite … and we simply don’t praise Him.
Today, with everything that is happening in my life, I am choosing to praise Him. I know that there is a purpose and a path for each struggle I face. And for that I praise Him. I know that heartbreak or death or hurt or loss doesn’t take Him away from me. And for that I praise Him. These things only try to turn me away from Him. And so still I praise Him.
Psalm 34:1b says “I will praise the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.” There is no disclaimer there, no exception, no circumstance that makes it alright to speak ill of our Lord. We shouldn’t praise Him in spite of what is happening in our lives. We should simply praise Him. Period. The End. No if’s, and’s, or but’s … we should praise Him for all the wonders that surround us. We broken beings get so caught up in being happy and feeling good. God never promised that faith in Him would make us happy. He simply promised that He would always be there. And He is. And so still I praise Him.
I can’t see what His plan is for my life. And still I praise Him. I pray for reconciliation and forgiveness and healing and blessings and so many other things. And in those prayers I praise Him. But what I have today is a sadness that I never thought would be mine to bear. And still I praise Him. In that praise, He gives me relief and comfort and just holds me as His child. In that praise, He forgives me for spiteful thoughts and brokenness. In that praise, He simply loves me. And so still I praise Him because that is all that I need. I don’t know what season of life you are in today – a peak or a valley – but I pray God’s peace and love wrap you in whatever season it is. And I pray that you praise Him for whatever it may be.
As still I praise Him,