I can’t believe we’re closing out Psalms! It was nice to take a break in the middle and come back fresh.
I love how much these last chapters urge us to praise God. This is a known phrase to believers: praise God. But maybe we don’t always know what that looks like.
When I was in college, I was part of a rapidly growing church plant. Our pastor regularly said “praise God”, at the end of almost every sentence he spoke. At first I didn’t know what to make of it. Was it a punchline? Are we allowed to say that flippantly? As time went on, I realized he truly meant that he was praising God when he proclaimed it. It soon became a catch phrase among us, and also a state of mind.
“It’s been raining 34 days in a row and months since we saw the sun. Well, praise God.” The congregation would laugh. But it’s true! Praise God for the rain. Even the pouring rain.
In each paragraph we’ve read in this book, the psalmist praised God. In sorrow, war, heartbreak, the good times, the bad times and the mundane.
“Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” 150:6, the last verse of this book.
What does praising God in our every day life look like? It’s 11am as I am writing this, and here are some ways I’ve had the opportunity to praise God (and some I’ve passed up):
-Posturing myself towards him when I wake up. My eyes slit open, my room is light. I’m tired, I accidentally slept in my contacts and my to do list is already scrolling through my uncaffeinated mind. What an opportunity to praise God for beautiful sunshine, eyes that see because of the advancement of modern medicine, and a life full of things to do with my hands.
-Drinking my cup of coffee and looking into God’s face before I face the rest of the day. My preschooler is on the floor playing with play dough and I drink in scripture and medium roast Stumptown coffee. Praise God I live in a country where I can freely and regularly read God’s word, with an abundance of access to it. And for coffee.
-Looking for thankfulness when I’m prone to complaining. The fridge is cluttered, ugh. Praise God for food. It’s SO HOT OUTSIDE. Praise God for air conditioning and previously mentioned fridge. I do not want to answer my son’s 456 questions right now. Praise God for a healthy 3 year old, the gift of parenting and the humility to remember what a good father God is to me.
How have you praised God already today? As we close on the book of Psalms, let’s move forward being intentional to give him the glory he so greatly deserves.
Tomorrow we will start the book of James!