Praise God Anyhow!

Isaiah 43:21This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Today is a bit difficult…

We got news last night that my Dad had a stroke – his third. He was confused and disoreinted and unable to figure out where he lived. The damage from the last two has been minimal and we are truly thankful. But now, this is another blow to an already frail man.

My mind is all over the place with thoughts that need more information; which at this time is slow in coming. In times like these, I try to force the ‘what ifs…’ out of my mind and last night and this morning has been spent in much prayer.

As I read Isaiah chapters 40-43 today, there were so many things that jumped out at me. But, the verse God chose for me, spoke to my heart in this difficult time.

There is nothing new under the sun. Nothing that will ever take God by surprise. Nothing that would cause God to say, “Oops, I forgot that” or “Never counted on that happening”. No, God is my Sovereign; King; my Lord and Savior; my Creator and Master. And because He is, I trust Him – even when I think the worst of a situation that still hasn’t played out yet.

He created me for a purpose. He gave me a wonderful earthly father. As time and chance happen to us all, there will come a time when we all have to face when God calls us home. It may be through and accident, sickness, or just plain old age. We all fear the doorway we may have to pass through, but not the destination!

But the verse says, “…they shall shew forth my praise.”

So, when the situation we find ourselves in isn’t what would seem ‘praiseworthy’, I turn my heart and my soul to God and praise Him anyway!

My mind is flooded with the times and memories I have had with a Dad who gave our family his best. For the recent bucket list vacation to the Outer Banks that, for him, was a joy and a rejoicing to his heart and a beautiful memory for our family. For the lessons learned – even in these latter years as he shared more memories of things in our childhood that we never quite understood. God has truly blessed our family.

To truly understand, we have been created for God means I must exercise my faith.

Philippians 2:13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Ephesians 1:5-6Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

It is in the times of simple obedience when nothing seems to make sense. When the wound has cut deep and the tears won’t stop. When we fail to grasp the meaning or the purpose of life and we’re caught off guard by news like that of today. It is then, I feel like the apostle John who, if you were to look for him, was leaning on Jesus’ breast. That’s where I want to be right now.

Memories flood my mind…

I will never forget the look of my father’s face when I came home from Marine Corps boot camp. I had been meritoriously promoted and given a set of dress blues. As I stepped off the plane and came down the concourse, my eyes met his and I saw such pride; such pleasure… I had made my Dad proud.

I liken that to how I think my Heavenly Father might look and feel when I do His will.

There is coming a day, when I will take my flight and cross the Jordan river into glory. Many loved ones will be there to greet me, and most of all; I will see my Savior!

I have much to praise Him for – even when present circumstances do not support it.

Lester Roloff had a saying; “Praise God anyhow!” I think I know a little more what that means today.

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