I'm called upon to sing praises. "Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name....Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said 'I will never be shaken.' ... But when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 'What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? ... Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.' You turned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever." (Psalm 30)
In living our lives, there will be times of weeping. There will be times when we wonder what happened? Why???? We may not always receive answers to those questions. But if our prayers for mercy include acknowledgement and praise, for the LORD is mighty and full of grace, we can be confident he hears us and will respond. He is the creator of heaven and earth. He is our creator. He wants what is best for us. That does not mean a life that is free of hardship. Hardship so often draws us close to him.
My week was not off to a great start. By mid-week I was wondering "Why???? What do You want from me?" It is no coincidence that when I found myself stumbling into a pit I was not alone. Physically maybe, but not spiritually. I'm participating in multiple Bible studies. I'm working my way through "The Bible in a Year" reading Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs on a ~daily schedule. The Word came to me in the form of steps and ladders. "Here, my child. Here is how you should approach this situation. Step here. Now shift there. Now up again." I was not able to physically attend either of two small group discussions (one on Esther, one on the Psalms of Ascent) because I chose to go to attend a top level meeting followed by a dinner discussion impacting my job. I doubted my decision. Choosing work over Bible Study? Seems wrong, I know. But I kept up with my studies, watching the missed video for one and doing a lesson for the other. And everything I read is so applicable to my situation.
God answers our prayers. Prayers for my oldest daughter (that she gains wisdom and learns to put her children's needs above her own), for my middle daughter (that she and her husband grow strong in their faith and seek Your counsel), for my youngest daughter (that she knows Your love is without limitation or imitation, and that my love mirrors Yours), and for my youngest (that he continues to grow in Your light). Others in my prayers include Ashley, Julia, Sarah, Jessica, Deborah, Bernie, Randall, Bill, Christine, Jim, Jim, Jim (yes, 3 Jim's), Robbie, Jenny, Robert, Sue, Liz, Zoey, Katherine, Eva....Fran (help me to know Your will and to obey).
O LORD, my God, I will give you thanks forever!