Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yet I will praise You

The Lord brought a verse to mind this morning as I was praying, just sitting down at my desk at work, and since it seemed a little random, I knew there must be more to it and I needed to investigate.

"Yet I will ever praise You, Lord."

The first Google search for this led to Psalm 71:14, "As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more." (This translation changed the wording a little bit, but others actually said, 'I will ever praise you." But still - I will always have Hope. Isn't that true?

In Jesus Christ, we will always have Hope.Period.

Nothing can change that.
Nothing will change that.

Even when our feelings lie to us and tell us there is no hope, Jesus still remains our Hope and our Freedom.

Anyways, in reading the whole Psalm, I was surprisingly encouraged this morning with a new perspective. I usually have read this passage, and passages like this in the past, thinking of witnessing to other adults, non-believers -

"My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone."

Or maybe in order to encourage other believers - "hey, this is what God has done for me. He can do it for you!"

But this morning, the Lord directed my attention to what He has now redefined as ministry to me - one of my first ministries - my babies.

The psalm goes on to say:

"Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come."

"to the next generation."

My babies. Your babies.

They are kind of a captive audience right now. (Insert semi-evil laugh here)

Maybe you've thought of this before. I'm fairly new at this parenting thing, and I've been many years with God where ministry, in my mind, was not defined as first to my husband, and second to my family, and then third as the Lord directs. My heart has not always had the right priorities ordered as the Lord intends - and if I'm truthful, most days He is still redirecting my heart. Old lies still sound loudly in my ears and I have a forgetful heart.

However, I was so encouraged as this scripture met me right where I am this morning, sitting at my office desk (where I used to try to find purpose and meaning for my life in 'ministry').

The Lord is so gentle and patient with me.

Did you catch part of this passage?
v.15 "My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all."

To me, this was perfect. I so often feel completely ill-equipped and clueless in where to start with my daughter in telling her about my relationship with Jesus. How do I explain it in terms that she'll understand, as a now 3 year old? How do I convey the beauty of His life, the riches I've received in Him, my depravity without Him?

"thought I know now how to relate them all" - or though I know not how to relate them AT all.

YET my mouth will tell. I will ever praise You, Lord. Until I get better at communicating it to all people on their level, to their understanding, to where they are in their specific season in life. I will just continue on, although it is messy and confusing and I will probably get a lot of weird looks.

(Am I the only one that has a daughter/son that can look at you like you're absolutely crazy and it makes you feel like you've been put in your place? Yep - I will press on despite the Natalie stink-eye.)

Please check out the rest of the Psalm as well. What a great reminder this morning of the GREAT God that we have!

And to further confirm to me that God does have a quirky sense of humor, I searched the words again - because more of the verse came to mind and I started questioning whether or not I had even found the right passage.

And I was led to Psalm 34:1, and this is what I found in several different translations, as a preface to the passage,

NIV: "Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left. I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."

NASB:"A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

HA! So, when we are continually praising God, it may in fact look like we've lost it. Like we HAVE NO CLUE.

Isn't it crazy to praise a God for His faithfulness in the darkness? When there isn't enough money in the bank account and your mortgage is due next week? When you've been praying for healing and there are no signs of change? When it's just so hard that you can't imagine having to face this specific __________ one more day?

"Yet I will ever praise You, Lord. Your praise will continually by on my lips."

Because the next generation is at stake. Our babies have a front-row seat to our lives and are waiting to see how we will respond in the good and the bad, the uncertainty and in the smooth.

And it's not going to look perfect. (Can I just add that here as a permission slip for it to never look perfect?! Am I the only one that may read that previous statement and think, "oh the pressure! They're looking at me!)

It's not supposed to look perfect. It's supposed to look real. Real enough that they will later look back on later in life and can relate to it, and know that it was genuine - know that what they are facing isn't somehow worse or wrong because their mom never seemed to have issues or doubts or trying times. They will look back and say despite that, she did 'ever praise Him."

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