I once heard comedian Mark Lowry say, “If David had had Prozac, we wouldn’t have the Psalms.” And though David didn’t write all of the Psalms, Mark does have a point. If you really look at it, the Psalms are a pretty good depiction of life. Some days are good, other days not so much. Sometimes we feel deserted by God, other times we marvel at his faithfulness. There are times when we cry out to God and times we just sit down and praise him.
To be honest, I’m much better at crying out to God than I am at praising him. When I read through my journal and look at how I’ve prayed, there are days when it looks like I’ve simply gone to God with a grocery list of wants. In fairness, often those prayers are for other people and yet still, they are wants – not praise. I think God loves our prayers whether we are asking for help, praying for others, confessing sin, or just talking to him about our lives and seeking direction. But you know, I think he LOVES it when we just take the time to notice what he’s done for us and praise him for it.
This makes me think of what it’s like to be a parent. A new mom and dad will lovingly care for their sweet baby through sleepless nights and crying that can raise anyone’s blood pressure to new heights. But when that baby gets to be a few months old and breaks out one of those amazing toothless grins, those same tired parents gather new strength for whatever’s next. When a toddler, who has spent the day pushing every single crazy-making button a parent has, suddenly runs up behind her mom with a big hug and says, “I love you to the moon and back,” it gives that mom the energy to do it all again tomorrow.
Thankfully, God has infinitely more energy than parents of small children and probably doesn’t need our praise to make it through another day. But nonetheless, he loves to hear it. LOVES IT! In fact, Isaiah 43:21 says, “This people I have formed for myself; They shall declare my praise.” God created us to praise him!
And so, the other day when I was reading in the Psalms it got me to thinking, what if I wrote my own version of a psalm? What would it look like? What if I just took the time to notice and to thank God for this incredible world he has placed around me? Psalm 36:5-7 says, “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God!”
Inspired by those verses I ended up writing this:
Lord, you are so amazing. When I look at the flowers I see your hand; the way they are delicately made, and intricately designed. Incredible! When I see the mighty mountains, I am awed by your majesty. Even the rocks and boulders shout your name! I am amazed at your splendor. When I see the power of the ocean and yet feel the way it calms me, I think of your power and your strength and yet also your protection and your tenderness. And when I stand in awe of the sunset, I see your beautiful signature on each day. Lord, you are so amazing. You so delicately made this whole world, and it is so beautiful. Thank you for designing it to bring us pleasure. I love you, Lord!
What about you? What would your psalm look like? Feel free to share it here. What would you praise him for today?
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.