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.

From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with
 The Beauty in His Grip
 Playdates With God
What Joy Is Mine
Faith Barista

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