Life’s a walk through the storms and rains, and some days? — the hails and winds.
And it’s the harsh that can sometimes scrambles you thin, makes you wanna howl.
Howl you may — long into the night, straight into your sleep.
Because this is the lesson we can all embrace:
Stop the howl and start the praise. Strain the tears and save yourself some laughter —
Because in God:
You are free (John 8:36)
You have all the strength you lack. (Philippians 4:13)
You are no longer condemned. (Romans 8:1)
You are never, ever separated from His great love reaching out to you. (Romans 8:38-39)
You’ll see Him who works all things for your good. (Romans 8:28)
You’ve got what it takes to overcome fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
You can see today’s troubles achieving an eternal glory. (2 Cor. 4:17)
You will never, ever lose! (Romans 8:31)
So no matter what your week is like, or what the world’s been like, we’re all reminded that He’s got our back —
Regardless how hard, how ridiculously unpredictable the world and your world might have been —
there is a homecoming just for you and me.
At the breakfast table that morning, I break the eggs and slowly let the yokes run into their whites.
The kids watched me fold them in.
Howling wildly in protests, they complained: “Mama, we don’t like eggs…”
Yeah, this isn’t exactly your buttery popcorn kinda smell wafting through the kitchen — but the eggs are good, so I ignored them.
I should have the whole family memorising this by now:
“Whenever we complain in the places of life that look thin and runny, we break the flow of praise that usher us into the field of fullness, into lands that yield.”
I scooped each egg onto each kid’s plate.
I too have done my own fair share of complaining, woke right up feeling more frayed with life, more disarrayed with self.
I like things firm, and certain, but how do you keep your spirit up in places that look like you’ve been pressed right out in the harsh and that your heart can’t help but be hard?
But we can trust the Hand that can make all our scrambled edges full.
Complaints always cloud the presence of blessings, and it’s finding your voice in the elements of the harsh that releases you into showers of joy.
Because praise really is the key to our courage. And it’s praising God today that fortifies us with courage for our tomorrow.
Praise in Hebrews — ‘yadah’ — is to thank Him proactively with hands extended, voices amplified, us swaying happy, raving on crazy in the celebration of His goodness.
A few months back in round 1 of our stage 3 lockdown? — I’ll never forget how blue the sky was that autumn.
The kids were panting happy, chasing frisbee, throwing boomerang.
At that time, we were slowly seeing restrictions lifting — but who’d know when there’d be a full economic recovery? Or a return to the kind of normal we’d been accustomed to, or flights to places we’ve always been dreaming of?
But that day sitting under the same sky hundredth of times before, I suddenly begin to see.
This life we’ve all taken for granted? — it really is a gift.
Today is our ‘present’.
Whatever happens today — grace.
And under that big blue sky watching the birds in their formation, and the kids with their hair blowing with the wind, I too made my confession.
I want to stop howling, start praising.
I can watch all the eggs fold and enjoy all the scrambles — and whatever else is imperfect in my life.
I can sit under the same sky and utter a song of thanks —
We can trust Him to keep us soft yet strong in what may be hard or harsh.
Because when we praise Him in our challenges, we’ll begin to see — the hope, the riches, and the power of our calling.
Perhaps what’s shaking the world need not shake our world.
Every shaking can be for our shaping.
It can send us seeking Him, shining and spreading His love.