Last July I sat on my front deck and prayed, “Father, do whatever it takes to cleanse me of me. Get Grace out of the way so You can work freely in and through me. Peel me like an onion if You wish. Have at ‘er. Refine me and purify me so the image of Christ can be seen in me.”
Ten months have passed—ten months of sitting in the Refiner’s fire and wishing He’d turn down the heat occasionally, especially in the context of a couple hurtful relationships.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not sorry I surrendered my heart and soul and everything about me to Jesus that day. I truly meant what I prayed. It’s just that I sometimes grow weary of the emotional tussle and turmoil I feel when circumstances surrounding these relationships linger in the negative too long for my liking.
This morning God gave me a good word in this context. “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
When I focus on my hurt, the last thing I feel like doing is praising God. I might give it a fair shot, but my attempt will be half-hearted at best. God wants and deserves better than that.
As I sat on my deck this morning, I paraphrased the psalmist’s words to read like this: “Let ALL that I am praise the Lord. I will praise You with my whole heart. With everything that’s in me. Even with that corner of my heart where pain and disappointment and grief dwell. I praise You in the hard places—especially in the hard places because of who You are.”
And so today I choose to praise the Lord with my whole heart. I praise Him for being sovereign and grace-filled and patient and wise. I praise Him for loving me when He knows how unlovable I can be sometimes. I praise Him for being faithful and kind and forgiving.
And I ask Him to get Grace out of the way so He can make me more like Him—the One who is worthy of all our praise.
Will you join me in praising God with your whole heart today? What needs to happen so you can engage in wholehearted worship?
#bgbg2 #devotions #PraiseInHardPlaces