“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3
A few years ago, a popular Christian song depicted Paul and Silas at the midnight hour standing in a Roman prison cell, beaten, battered, and abandoned. Yet, their voices, singing praise to God, could be heard above the other prisoners’ sounds of despair.
As I imagined Paul and Silas’ bloody and bruised hands lifted in genuine heartfelt praise to God, I longed to have a heart that would praise him despite the circumstances. I pleaded for God to develop such a heart within me.
During that time, my thirteen-year-old daughter, April, suffered from curvature of the spine. Her condition worsened to the degree that it required surgery to prevent life-threatening heart or lung damage. My husband and I researched the doctor and knew he had performed the surgery multiple times. After the surgery, April would be in severe pain for an extended period of time. God had impressed it upon my heart to do a Bible study about suffering. I thought God was preparing me to help April endure the suffering she’d experience after surgery. But he had a different purpose.
April never woke up after that surgery. That began the most difficult journey of my life — learning to live without her. At times when I was drowning in grief, I’d praise God for the moments I shared with April.
Instead of focusing on what I’d lost, I’d focus on what we’d had. Through that journey, I’ve learned our strength to enduring difficult times doesn’t come from within ourselves but from God who inhabits the praises of his people.
Dear Lord, in the midst of suffering, help me find the boldness to praise you anyway knowing that you are in control, are always there, and care about me. Thank you for your love and mercy for me. Amen.
By Veda Lucas
Used by Permission
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