Psalm 100 (the message)
On your feet now–applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and forever.
This Psalm made me smile this morning!
Yesterday we gave my brother and his wife a baby shower. They are expecting their first little one in July. As I was reading my bible this morning I was thinking of them and the joy and praise they carry in their hearts for what God has done. See, they tried for three years to conceive a child…heartbreaking for them as well as those that love them. Deep in my heart I knew they would be parents one day. I knew God had a plan! Although I didn’t know how it would come to fruition I knew He would bless them with a child. Why did He let them walk out three long years of trying? I don’t know for sure…why does He require any of us to wait or walk through really tough times?
Could it be that now, because of their journey, each moment of this pregnancy is a little sweeter? Could it be that on the glorious day this baby (we don’t know the sex!) makes its’ grand entrance into our lives there will be a holy moment of recognition and gratitude for the miracle God has given? Could it be that even as we wring our hands in desperation at circumstances our Heavenly Father is whispering…’get to know me now…trust me…I know what the future holds.’ Could it be that the journey of “not knowing” brings about a deeper and more intimate relationship with the One who does know? I used to fight this idea…but now I know it’s true.
I believe that because of this journey to parenthood my brother and sister-in-law know more than ever that “God is God” and they are His “well-tended sheep.” I believe they knew that before, but I know from my own life being at the end of your rope, reaching a place where you hold onto Jesus to keep your head above water, where you finally give up your way to God’s way can make room for Him to move in your life and results in gratitude. A heart of gratitude can open up God’s presence in your life…it can spur you on to do and be and give up things for God…you can give Him what He asks from you when you are grateful. When you realize where you would be without Him. When you remember how He pulled you out of the pit you were in. When you stop bucking God and what He wants to do in your life…when you stop running the other direction…when you stop trying to “fix” yourself, your circumstances and everyone around you…He can come in like a river and His presence and Spirit can flow through your life and carry away the negativity, doubt, pride and pain. His Spirit can open your eyes, ears and heart…He can whisper to your soul and lift your burden. You can “sing yourselves into his presence.” You can “bring a gift of laughter.” Life is arduous without that. Even the things we think we “need” the most in life to be content can be cast aside when we have this deep connection in our hearts with the God of creation. When I take the time to just sit and listen to the birds or feel the faint breeze…when I look up into the sky and watch the clouds drift by…when I think about the greatness of the ocean and the splendor of mountain ranges…as I chase lightening bugs in the dark with my girls…as I watch my sweet sister’s belly swell with life…I know that God is God. He is more than I can understand, more than I can grasp or imagine, more than I can fit into my “church girl” box. And yet, He is the same God who sees the deepest places of our heart, knows the number of hairs on our head, and hand-crafted us to know and enjoy Him. He is what makes life Beautiful.