Thursday, August 11, 2011

Live to Praise

I have been praying and asking and waiting…and praying and asking and waiting...(with the occasional whining mixed in)…and yet still I sit. The For Sale sign outside my house sits as well.

A friend’s house that is for sale showed yesterday. Today our son and his wife’s house will show at 9:30. And ours sits. Its hard not to be envious. Its hard not to get bitter or desperate.  I am glad for our friends and kids, they need to sell their homes too, but I feel left behind.

As I sit here praying this morning, a verse I have scribbled at the top of my prayer list catches my eye. Psalm 119:164, “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.”

The praise I give too often tends to come from what God does for me. “Thank you for that great parking spot on a rainy day…Thanks for a safe trip…Praise God for that pay raise…”

Not bad things to give thanks for, but the Psalmist doesn’t look for what God does but at Who He is and His righteous laws. This totally takes the “me” out of the picture. The focus is on God. All eyes on Him. There is no other issue clouding the view, just crisp clean praise given to the Lord. 

This kind of boils it all down and leaves me with a “wow” epiphany type of moment. God is God. God is good. God’s ways are perfect.  And even if I sit here for years waiting for my house to sell, God is still good. God is still righteous.

So, the better thing in this life is to focus on God and His character and not worry about my situations.  As they say, its all in your perspective. So which will I allow to be larger in my focus: God or my problems?
I need something else to fill my mind as I wait on God. Verses 166-174 speak of waiting on God, obeying God, crying out to God, asking for understanding, lips overflowing with praise, singing of God’s word, and longing for His salvation. That list hardly leaves time for me to mope and whine.

And verse 165 reminds me of the why. “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”  Peace. Isn’t that what I’m after in the first place? I want my way, I want what I think is best because I think it will bring me peace and comfort.

Summed up in verse 175 is my reason for living very simply put, “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.” Live to praise. And seven times a day keeps the desperation away.

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