Praising Him

 “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”  
Psalm 71:14 NIV

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Life is hard.  Sometimes it is nice to have someone say that, as though to reassure us that we aren’t the only ones that feel this way.  And sometimes, it is can be so annoying to hear that.  Yes.  I know it is hard.  Thank you for stating the obvious.  

Psalm 71 is fantastic to spend some time thinking about.  It is chalk full of emotions that we all have felt in this journey of life and the Christian walk of faith.  The author of this psalm is documenting their journey of struggles of life, but there is a thread of faith and the hope it brings that is weaved through the entire piece.  That is one of the beautiful things about reading The Bible; to be able to relate it to your life.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I always feel a sense of relief when people of faith in the Bible express emotions and struggle with life circumstances, because that’s me everyday.     

I love how the psalmist takes the time to give us a glimpse into what they are experiencing and have experienced.  And they also take the time to remember what God has brought them through thus far, hence giving them a faith and a hope that God will continue to help them.   

Since we’ve all been through really difficult times, it can be really easy to forget to praise and worship God solely for who He is in those seasons.  It is really easy to praise God when things are going fantastic.  It’s another experience in our faith journey’s entirely to praise Him when it seems as though everything is falling apart.   

I recently had a health issue with my daughter.  Over the course of a few months, her eating habits began to change and she was eating less.  Then, one night she sat at the dinner table, sobbing, clutching her stomach saying how hungry she was, but refused to eat.  We made her whatever she said she wanted.  Toast.  Smoothie.  Ice cream.  Chicken nuggets.  Candy.  She ate none of it.  In the next 48 hours, we saw her doctor which led to scheduling ultra sounds and being told that she would need a blood test for a plethora of things, one of them being leukemia.  She had the blood test done on Friday, and I spent the entire weekend in this weird fog-like state of mind filled with “what if’s?” And “what will we do?”  

I love that the psalmist says, “As for me, I will always have hope.”  When I think about that, I have to remember what my hope is in.  It isn’t in the perfect health of my daughter, the home decorated with Magnolia wreaths every where, the perfect friendships, family relationships, career, marriage to the cutest person with the most money, perfect children, or anything else that may be a desire of my heart.  My hope is in Jesus.  My hope is what Jesus did for me on the cross at Calvary.  His sacrifice and blood being shed gives me the ability to be with God for all eternity.  That is what my hope is in.  It gives me the opportunity to share this with my daughter, so that Even If she has leukemia, He is still God.  He is still good.  He still loves me.  He still loves her.  And His sacrifice saves her for eternity.  It saves you for eternity, once you accept Him as your savior.   

I was standing in church, during worship that Sunday, with all these thoughts swirling around my head and in my heart.  I had mascara stained tears running down my checks, completely ruining my eye liner.  I had snot galore and needed the box of tissues, not just the one tissue someone handed me.  And, it was difficult, but I said in some sort of sobbing incomprehensible language, “Father, You are good.  Even If Zia is sick, You are good, and I will worship You.”  And I raised my hands to give Him praise in the midst of my emotions of fear, confusion, and sadness.   

I am glad to say that thankfully, Zia does not have leukemia.  She does have an issue with her gallbladder, some potential food allergies, and sensory things we are working with a therapist on, in case curiosity has you intrigued.  Meal times can still be a challenge for her.  My husband and I are having to learn new ways to work with her, which can be overwhelming and intimidating sometimes.  It is still hard.  But, as the psalmist stated, I will always have hope, regardless of the difficulties of life, because I have Jesus.  And I will praise Him more and more, which is a lesson I learned when I raised my hands in that really hard and emotional moment. 

If you’ve had difficult seasons of your life (who hasn’t?!), take some time to read Psalm 71.  Read it slowly.  Read it in a few different versions.  And think about the emotions you recognize in the words.  Think about a time you felt the way the author felt.  Remember those difficult times in the past, and think about how things turned out.  Finally, sit in your favorite spot where you can have a few moments alone with Jesus, telling him about your thoughts and feelings about those times.  Think about the good that came from it, and give Him praise for it.  You may be surprised to find how this intimate worship experience deepens your relationship with the lover of your soul.  May you be blessed and refreshed in those moments with Him.   

Megan Sinisi  is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: