Monica’s Praise Report 4-23-24

Post Date: April 23, 2024
Author: ed@shconroe

Praise You God! You are Holy, Mighty, Merciful, All Knowing, Ever Present, for You are God! You know our comings and our goings, our joy and our sorrow. You know every hair on our heads, for we were wonderfully and fearfully made by You, our Creator.

Thank You Lord for the droughts and the storms. Thank You for community and isolation. Thank You for death and life, lightness and darkness, hot and cold. Thank You for every good thing and thank You even for the struggles and loss.

Forgive us when we do not see as You see, for Your ways are not our ways. Forgive us for our short-sightedness and forgetfulness. Forgive us for our disobedience and rejection of You and Your perfect and just laws. Forgive us for any arrogance and pride that seep into even the good works we do when we spotlight ourselves instead of You and Your grace working through us. Forgive us for “getting in Your way” with our own plans and expectations.

Have you experienced any storms or even droughts in your life lately? You know I do not mean literally, although I could. I have lived through many storms in my life. Age often gives us more opportunities to experience the many “seasons” of life that our children and grandchildren have yet to experience. Some “droughts” in life may be like that sense of being in a “rut” or “going through the motions” when your life, especially your spiritual life, is a total act of the will and is not based on the feelings that make the many good things we do so rewarding. Some “storms” may be death of a loved one, a sickness, loss of employment, or a rebellious teenager.

If you have been around a while, you have likely experienced all sorts of these experiences as you proceed through the various seasons of life. When is the last time you have revisited some of these and examined just how God has been faithful through it all? Is there something that stands out that allows you to cope with it all? Maybe you notice those things you experienced that pulled you out of the “droughts” and allowed your soul to be refreshed? Maybe you notice what happened right before God “showed up” and calmed the storm?

I recently had a very vivid dream that displayed to me that in ALL things, praise and thanksgiving is key to EVERY situation and season. In my dream, it granted me and my family protection and left doubters in disbelief. There was a caveat, though, and that was that praise and thanksgiving must be practiced. We must get into the habit of praising and thanking in ALL situations. Forming new habits requires practice!

In my dream, I was with several members of my family in an unfamiliar place. These members included some children and some older relatives. In the distance, I could see a very large and powerful tornado approaching. We did not have an adequately sturdy shelter for such a storm, just a roughly put together shelter. I instructed everyone to retreat to the safest rooms in the shelter and to stay together, holding each other tightly. I then began to praise and thank God. The closer the tornado approached, the louder my praise and thanks! I remember thinking that the praise and thanks would distract us from the storm and keep our focus on God, and that would subside the fear that inevitably rose. During my praise and thanks, I remember thinking that I was the only one verbalizing because I was the one with the most practice. My children see and hear me praise and thank God daily, but that does not mean that they have as much practice doing it as I do. The older relative did not have much practice praising and thanking God during the storms of her life. Fear overcame her, and she tried to flee – away from her only protection. Thankfully, my children, despite not having as much experience praising and thanking God, do have practice being obedient. One of my children grabbed the older relative and brought her back to the safest rooms in the shelter.

In my dream, the storm was gone; we were alive, but the shelter was in shambles. I could hear others outside searching the area and coming across the shelter saying, “There is no way anyone survived in this.” But, we had. The “world” is thrown off by God’s provision. It just doesn’t always add up or make sense to others. For those who spend time with God, reflecting upon all He has done and provided, recognizing His provision has allowed us an insight that others do not have. We have practiced humbling ourselves and praising God, so His ways become more and more familiar to us.

I encourage you to practice praising and thanking God. It leads to surrender and trust, and that is what I call “getting out of God’s way.” When we place ourselves in that right order – the created praising and thanking The Creator, we are allowing God to do His thing the way He does His thing exactly when it is best.  If you have experienced many storms and droughts of life, you might notice that it was often praise, thanksgiving, surrender, and trust that catapulted you to the Peace and calm that only God can grant. Do not forget to share what you have experienced; do not forget to practice praise and thanksgiving. Those in your life may just need to see it demonstrated.

Photo by Greg Johnson on Unsplash

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