Friday, November 07, 2014

Is praise your default setting?

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 63:1-11

Woman in a wheelchair
TO CHEW ON: “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life my lips shall praise You.” Psalm 63:3

Lisa Coriale, a friend of my daughter’s, has cerebral palsy. This lovely young woman lives in a body that is stiff and twisted. She has a hard time making herself understood when she talks. But she has amazing pluck and determination, has earned a university degree, and is trained as a social worker. She also has amazing faith – evidenced in a book of poems she published a few years ago. Though lines like these don’t surprise me:

“Spinning out of control
Grasping onto whatever I can
An item shatters on the floor
Higher waters overwhelm me” – from “Rant,” p. 27

…what I do find surprising is the note of triumphant praise that ends almost every piece:

“Remember to thank Him for everything” – from “Open Doors” p. 26
“He will set you free” – from “Freedom” p. 29
“The hand of God will create the ultimate / masterpiece for our lives” – from “The Hand of God” p. 32.

(All quotes from Transparent a book of poems by Lisa Coriale)

Psalm 63 was also written from a hard place. When we realize David was hiding from Saul in the wilderness of Judah at the time he wrote it, words like, “Because Your lovingkiness is better than life, My lips shall praise You” could easily puzzle us.

For what was he praising God? Perhaps he was praising because God had given Gad the prophet the message for him to flee, and so for the moment he was eluding jealous King Saul. Or perhaps his praise was sparked by the fact that he had just found water, or that he and his men were able to survive at all. Or maybe he praised God just because God is worthy of praise no matter what is or isn’t happening for us. “Thus I will praise you while I live…”

What is your situation today? Are you praising God in it? I find that even when things are good my attitude doesn’t naturally tend toward praise. I need to work on making praise my default setting no matter what my circumstances. And so I say with David: “My lips shall praise you… I will bless You while I live…I will lift up my hands… My soul shall be satisfied… my mouth shall praise you… I meditate on You… I will rejoice.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me train my attitude toward praise so that it is my first reaction in every situation. Amen


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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