His Presence in Praise
I writhed in bed and twisted the sheets. Emotional pain seared my heart once again. Would it never end? As my mind searched out the future, a road of shredded hopes littered the way. Even the warmth of my husband’s arms could not relieve the pain.
Then God whispered between the anxious thoughts to read again the devotional He had set before my eyes that night. Words of praise and thanksgiving spoken by “Girlfriends in God” squeaked past the tormenting thoughts.
I arose and slipped quietly into our walk-in closet. Amidst the rack of tops and jeans, next to the stack of shoes, I reread the devotional, soaking up the Scriptures and the words from Mary Southerland on praise. “…to praise God means to celebrate His worth, His value…His presence”, she wrote.
In the praise is the letting go of the worries, the thoughts that churn like a ceaseless washing machine through my mind. No concentration is needed to let go. No effort on my part. Praising God yanks the worries out and replaces the vacuum with peace.
I crept back to bed and gently eased the covers up. The roar began again in my head. Slowly, deliberately, I whispered the names of God. Praise for His character breathed over my lips. My eyelids flickered and then another roar disturbed the peace. I pulled from the corners of my mind words that once slid easily from my mouth. The balm of peace slipped my eyelids closed. Wrapped in His worth and presence I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, I awoke to an email from a dear friend. Her message carried a sense of urgency. Tears dripped on my keyboard as I read her words:
“Just a note to say you were heavy on my heart this morning in prayer time (and I also went to bed praying for you!) When I was reading my Bible this morning, I read Psalm 34:18–‘The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart…'”
The Lord knew my pain. He cared so much for me that He impressed the urgency of prayer upon a friend of mine.
And He cares for each of us with the compassion uniquely designed for us. Click to Tweet
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice, he heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116 1, 2, 3b, 4-7.
“Praise is not optional in a life that wins over worry and doubt.” (Click to Tweet) Mary Southerland, “Weeds and Worry”, Girlfriends in God.
May you know His presence and peace in praising the One and Only Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
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Oh this is such a lovely reminder of how we are blessed with the sweet assurance of His love and compassion Janice! (And that He speaks to our precious and loving friends to encourage, pray and give us support!) God calls us to look outward and upward and keep our eyes open to the One who will always be there to pick us up when we are hurt and/or suffering. My prayers and love are with you dear friend; I hope you are headache free today, and have a blessed week!
Thank you, Denise, for your encouragement.
Oh so true. Praise instead of twisting the sheet or whatever, that speaks to my heart too. Thank you for sharing Janis. God Bless and Keep you now and always.
Nita~I’m glad this post blessed you as well. We seem to share similar situations at times!
Been there, in the middle of the night with twisted sheets and tangled thoughts. And yes, God is such comfort in those moments.
(Thinking about your son today on this Veteran’s Day – may God be with him)
Sharon~thank you for your faithful comments. And thank you for your thoughts about our son. Haven’t heard from him but once since his deployment. I pray God is with him, too.
Such a powerful post. God in the midst of turmoil. God the Rock. God the Fortress. Praying for you every day, Sister – the one who held my hand in the circle.
Thank you, Janis. Your prayers are a blessing. I picked up a book on clearance today that had the names of God and Scriptures linked to those names. Should be a treasure. I love God as my Rock and Fortress.
I like the the sentence that says: “Praising God yanks the worries out and replaces the vacuum with peace.” I like the word “yank” as it means to pull or extract with a quick vigorous movement. So as we are praising Him, He removes those thoughts/worries with a quick vigorous movement and replaces them with His peace!!! Praise Him!!!! I love it as He does not want us to continue in those thoughts for any length of time, that keep us from Praising Him!!! YES!!!!!
Hi Ceal~Grateful that the Lord does yank out the worries as well. Otherwise, they would cement into my mind like the hardened clay of the desert.
Glad you’re back home.
oops, I forgot to put my name again!! ~Ceal~
Janis…What a wonderful reminder that God is ever presence and that is enough to praise Him for. And in praising Him there is peace. Thank you for sharing at WJIM’s Monday’s Musings. Have a blessed week.
Thank you, Naomi, for stopping by and for hosting the link up!
I have a friend I met online. She has emailed me at the most needful times and we are both convinced the Lord brought us together. He knows our needs.
Amanda~what a special blessing from God. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Dear! I felt so bad for you…I really don’t like being kept awake by negative thoughts and worries. And feeling bad about being awake just makes it worse. I am so happy that God confirmed his love for you through your friend. What a great, loving God we have.
You know you are in my prayers, and you will continue to be.
Blessings on this new day,
Visiting from Faith Barista Jam – so thankful to have read your post. What a precious story of your seeking His help during the night, of calling on His Name … and then of hearing later that a dear friend had been praying for you in your time of need. I love how God was caring for you …
Janis – Reading this, I felt for you. How I wish I had known & prayed for you have blessed me at times. This post reminded me of this quote I read years ago by Donald Barnhouse – “Worship –> Worth-ship, the acknowledgement of the worth that is in our God.” And in His Name. Many a night, I fell asleep just whispering the name, “Jesus” over & over. He is faithful. He is worthy of our worship.
Thanks for sharing so openly about your pain, Janis. I think there is such wisdom here. They say that the best way to handle our problems is to take our eyes off our problems and fix our eyes on God. It’s wonderful how by focusing on how great He is our problems diminish just a little bit.
Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
Janis, thank you for writing from your soul and sharing with such beauty and honesty in the Faith Jam. His Presence is what our hearts need. t’s wonderful to hear your voice and see you writing. Grateful for you.