Praise

Music in church has taken on a whole new meaning to me. I have mentioned before that I like to drive by myself in the car so that I can sing loud and not worry about other people hearing. My children have made it clear it is not a “pleasant thing to hear!” I am so glad the Lord has said, “make a joyful noise”. It does give me the freedom to sing…..!

Being 51, and well into the Back 9 of life, having lived many years and now reflecting on God’s undeniable hand in my life, and the lives of others, coupled with a renewed and growing faith in God…..has given me a new song. The meaning of “praise and worship” has taken on a life of its own. One I have never really known until the last couple of years. Today, it is very hard for me, almost impossible at times when there is worship music with meaningful words, to not lift my hands in the air. I am sooooo very grateful to God for all He has done and continues to do in my life. A gratitude…..that I don’t remember ever being of this magnitude.

I remember growing up and seeing people lift their hands during praise and worship. To be honest, I just didn’t get it. Let me just stop here and say, if you are reading this and you are not compelled to lift your hands when you sing in church, it doesn’t mean you don’t love Jesus. I am not saying that at all. I am just saying…..for me…..I can’t NOT LIFT MY HANDS at times…..it is something personal for me….maybe a uninhibited “gratitude” of the realization….of how much He loves and cares for me…. and the personal closeness I feel to God.

It is only in the present that I can reflect to the past and say that for me personally, worship is totally between me and God. It is as if no one is around…. I love that feeling of “just me and God!” I think it also could be a test for me in loving God so much that I don’t care what people think when I raise my hands to praise, because you see……I confess, I am a recovering “people pleaser”. I did not understand and I did judge other people who did such acts of worship. Why? Because it wasn’t something I did. MY bad……yes….funny how God can bring you “Full circle!”

I remember seeing someone I admire and have heard teach and preach many times in my life engaging in such acts of worship. Adrian Despres often sits just a few rows in front of us on Sunday morning when he, himself, is not traveling and preaching. Adrian is the team chaplain for the University of South Carolina football team. I have many memories of seeing Adrian lift his hands in praise and I often wondered, Why….I didn’t feel like doing that???? I wanted to but didn’t feel like it.

Today, I can honestly say it is a God thing and it is personal. It is a true realization of Who God is and what He has done for me…..as Easter approaches it has a fresh meaning to me…..that I think comes with being 51 and having lived enough life to reflect and see thousands of times when there was only one set of footprints, and they were not mine….It was always the footprints of Jesus….He has carried me……..GRATITUDE….THAT FORCES ME TO LIFT MY HANDS IN PRAISE!

Psalm 9:1, “I will praise you O Lord, with my whole heart, I will tell of your marvelous works.”

Psalm 69:30, “I will praise the name of God with a song, I will Magnify him with thanksgiving.”

Psalm 103:2-5, “Praise the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”

I pray Psalm 103 verses 2-5 for all, especially the Back 9 readers! xoxoxox

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