Recently, my daughter and I were praying for friends of hers who were about to deliver their first child. We began praying on Tuesday and continued into Thursday morning because although we knew she was in labor, we did not know if she had delivered yet. As I was praying I began to praise God that Thursday morning because as scripture says God is good! What a great way to pray! Early afternoon we learned she had delivered a healthy baby boy late the night before.
That same week, two Marine Corps planes had clipped each other’s wings while re-fueling. The F 35 crashed but the pilot ejected safely. The KC130 landed safely with no injuries even though the plane had only 2 of the 4 propellors working! The landing should not have been possible. I wondered, ‘who had been praying?’ My daughter’s explanation: ‘God is good!’ Yes! God is incredibly good! Truly these pilots had been trained and they were skilled but my son-in-law, an EC130 pilot, commented, there isn’t even a simulator program for that landing because that kind of landing is not possible! God is good!
What I am realizing is that praising God for God’s incredible goodness is what we need! It’s what our world needs! And it’s what brings God’s Holy Goodness close to us. As we begin to praise and thank God we are encouraged. The amazing part is God seems even closer to us. How is that possible? God is as close as our breath. God surrounds us and upholds us. When we enter into praise, God is able to do far more in us and our world than we can imagine! God works in and through us and our praise! This could be one reason many Psalms implore us to ‘Praise the Lord; Praise God; I will praise God’s name in song; Sing praises to God; Praise our God; May the people’s praise you, God. (Ps. 150:1, 68:26, 69:30; 66:8; 47:6; 67:3) I believe praising God brings more of the goodness of God into our situation, others’ situations and provides avenues for the goodness of God in our world.
The difficulty is that daily we are bombarded by headlines, text messages, twitter, etc. about hurricanes, wildfires, racial injustice, the pandemic, or political parties giving us plenty of reasons to gripe, complain, fume, rant, sigh or feel depressed. We begin to believe that there really isn’t any good any where and if God was good, this wouldn’t be happening.
Although God’s goodness hasn’t changed, we may be harboring a little or maybe alot of resentment towards God. The best cure I know for our secret grudges against God is tell God our secret and not so secret hurts and then do what we are created to do – even when we don’t feel like it, even when the answer to our prayer hasn’t appeared yet, even when the skies are dark, the wind is howling and life seems terribly unfair – do the unthinkable – Praise God. Begin small. Praise God for the leaves turning colors. Praise God for a warm house, breakfast, a little blessing. Then don’t stop! Praise God for who God is! Mighty and Loving – whose steadfast love endures forever. Praise God for Jesus who died on a cross, rose from the tomb and promises to be with us always. Suddenly our little pity party becomes a praise party and God, through us, can bring the Kingdom of God in our midst and in the midst of others. The prayers and hurts begin to change. Praise affects them all. Planes land safely, babies are born healthy and our hearts are touched by the glorious love of God in and through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. How will you praise God today?