On this early Christmas eve morning, I was taking some time to go back over some writing I’ve done in the last couple of years. While it may seem that everything in my life is butterflies and rainbows, there have been incredible seasons of pain, loss, doubt, uncertainty, and fear. Going through those seasons has revealed many things about myself, my family, and my God.
One of those writings really stood out to me today. I remember as clearly as if it was yesterday when I wrote this…
I was sitting out on our back deck during one of those painful seasons. I felt completely lost, completely abandoned, completely alone. I was desperately crying out for God to move in our lives; for Him to deliver us from a long season of loss, disappointment, unmet expectations, and several crises that were crashing down on us at once.
All of a sudden, as I was praying, with tears streaming down my face, I felt a peace pour over me as if God Himself were wrapping His arms around me, drawing me to His chest, and holding me. Then a whisper…”My precious child, I love you so much. I know the pain you’re feeling now. Never forget, I AM, and I’ve got this. Now, take your pen and your page, and write all the reasons you can think of to praise Me.” And so, for the next hour, I wrote…
I will praise You in my doubt, because You know all and are sovereign over all
I will praise You in my fear, because You are my comforter
I will praise You in my weakness, because You are my strength
I will praise You in the storm, because You are sovereign over all creation
I will praise You in the stormy seas, because You have called me to walk on the water with You
I will praise You in my illness, because You are the great physician
I will praise You in my uncertainty, because You know all and are directing my path
I will praise You in my anxiety, because You bring calm
I will praise You in my suffering, because You suffered and died for me
I will praise You in my loss, because in You I am made whole
I will praise You in my weariness, because in You I find rest
I will praise You in my challenges in life, because I know all things work for my good
I will praise You in my wandering, because I trust that You are guiding my steps
I will praise You in my selfishness, because I believe that all things work for Your glory
I will praise You in my pain, because in You I find hope and healing
I will praise You in my poverty, because You are the provider of all things and will meet my needs
I will praise You in my want, because Your desire is for us to live lives of abundance
I will praise You in my RESET, because You desire to continue to mold and make me into the man you have created me to be
I will praise You in my fear, because it builds my faith in You
I will praise You in the storm, because it helps me to appreciate the sunny times even more
I will praise You in the morning, because You have created a brand-new day.
I will praise You in the noon time, because You were walking with me each step of the way.
I will praise You at night, because You have let me through this day, kept my feet on solid ground, and given me an opportunity to live my life of purpose with passion.
I will praise You in my abundance, because You are the giver of all good things.
I will praise You and every season, because You created them all. Each has a special purpose and helps me to become all you created me to be.
I will praise You during times of rest, because You have provided an appointed those times for me to refresh and renew.
I will praise You as I work, because You have given strength to my hands and feet to make a difference in the lives of others.
I will praise You during times of worship, because You alone are worthy of all honor and praise.
I will praise You during times of Bible study, because You have given us the ability through Your word to have a glimpse into Your heart.
I will praise You during my commute, because you have given me a reliable car, safe passage, and this time to focus on You.
I will praise You today because I live…by Your Grace and for Your Glory, always!
Now, almost two years later, while the piercing pain of that season has softened, I still recall the way I felt. But even more, I remember and experience again the truth of the heart of my Heavenly Father. Although I would never want to go through those times again, I also would never want them to be taken away because I know that going through them brought me a new understanding of my Father and is a building block for the life He created me to live.
So, when you see butterflies and rainbows in my life, and a man whose purpose is to bring hope, healing, encouragement, and inspiration to everyone, remember that it’s only through the storms that we can truly appreciate the sunshine. My pain…my journey…my hope…my healing…my inspiration has given me an unrelenting passion to help others move through, not avoid, times of pain and growth, to change, and to live faith-filled, purpose-focused lives for the glory of God each and every day.
No matter what the season…I will praise You!
By His Grace and For His Glory!