Every day brings another difficulty. Systems that always worked before, fail. People we could depend upon in life, abandon us. All the good we’ve done for others is forgotten. Our very integrity is on the line. We’ve made promises we cannot fulfill. Obligations demand our attention, but we are weary. We cannot see any end to the onslaught of trials. We beat ourselves up for mistakes we made, for decisons that led us to near-ruin. We cry out to God for direction, but feel like we are drowning in a sea of sand with no solid ground to stand upon. Where is God?
“Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:15
Sometimes the distresses in our lives become so monumental that we are smothered by their very shadow. We hurt. We’ve done all the things we believe God wants us to do; we’ve lived a life of integrity and honesty. We’ve given Him access to our lives and used our material things to bring honor and glory to Him. Yet the circumstances of life have beaten us down. We question our every decision; we analyze our motives and intentions. We scrutinize our every move and wonder where we could have done something differently. Where do we go for relief from the distresses the world has brought upon us?
“Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distresses. He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men!” Ps. 107:19-21.
We cannot praise God for His goodness when we question the drought He allows in our lives. We cannot trust God when we rely on ourselves to get us through the desert sands. Our praise is a clarion call. Our praise shows God we rely on Him no matter what befalls us. Our praise lifts our blinded eyes to the hills from whence cometh our help. Our confession of self-reliance, of pride, of anger and bitterness, opens the floodgates of heaven and releases the rain God is ready to pour down upon His devoted ones.
“And let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving and rehearse His deeds with shouts of joy and singing!” Ps. 107:22
It is a sacrifice for those broken beneath of load to lift weary heads and weakened arms to the Father for all He is and all He has been. I know. I’ve been there. When we get to the end of our strength, and use what is left to praise the Lord, God meets us and lifts us out of the distresses. He empowers us–refreshes and restores us. When we are grateful for the strength left to praise Him in our darkest hours, He lights a lamp. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord.”
© Hariette Petersen, SelahV Today, 2010