I Will Still Praise You Lord
“My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” Psalm 71:23
I was singing out loud to the Lord. Quietly, peacefully, sadly – and joyfully. Tears close by. I will still praise you Lord. I will still praise you Lord. The same words, again and again, gently like a lullaby. I knew if I started crying, I might cry a good, long while.
My sweet dog Elijah who had belonged to the closest female friend I had ever had who had been recently found dead with a gunshot wound to her chest was snuggled up in his bed next to my desk – possibly dying with cancer though test results were pending. I will still praise you Lord. I had a minor back injury. I had spent Christmas the day before tending to a sick dog. My ex-husband was in the hospital with a serious lung condition and the aftermath of an ongoing battle with addiction. I will still praise you Lord. Donations to my ministry had fallen off despite an increasing need as the ministry continued to grow. My beloved family in which I was no longer welcome due to a tough and tragic situation had gathered for the holidays out west. I will still praise you Lord. Several friends had hurt me recently. I will still praise you Lord.
I thought of what a friend amid a mighty trial had told me days before. “I’m pressing into the Lord and praising Him.” She was filled with joy.
And so am I. For in the midst of the ongoing trials of life, even when sadness is near, and challenges seem insurmountable, when the past threatens to overtake me with all its many major losses, I have joy now – and I have praise. For life has its ups and downs, and plenty of downs, but God is steady. He is constant. He is forever. He is love. He is merciful and mighty. He is eternally in my heart. I am everlastingly His. My hope is in Him. So is my trust. He is the love of my life. The light of my life. He makes me smile. He makes me rejoice. He is my fellowship. My companion. My best friend. My Lord. My redeemer. My everything.
I will still praise you Lord. We humans are so conditional. Conditional love. Conditional happiness. Conditional celebration. We look to our circumstances to determine how we feel, what we think, how we will react, to make our decisions, etc. But God created us to love and adore Him, to focus on Him, to live for Him, to worship Him day in and day out no matter our circumstances. I will still praise you Lord. This was new for me. I had lived so much of my life on a roller coaster based on my circumstances. Now, at long last, I was learning to sing with joy and hope a love song to my Lord. I will still praise you Lord. And so, joyfully, I am.
Are you praising God every day no matter your circumstances?