Monday, August 25, 2014

Unconditional Praise

I couldn't sleep last night. This isn't anything new. I've been fighting pneumonia since Memorial Day, and I recently finished more drugs to treat strep throat. (What adult gets strep?) Going to bed means coughing, popping ears, and tons of pressure building in my nasal passages. We've all experienced this; it just isn't any fun.

But the usual discomfort wasn't keeping me awake last night. Shortly after my David was snoring (he's been sick, too, poor thing), I slipped out of bed and went to sit on the deck to pray. Out there I could watch the clouds pass by, enjoy the breeze that wasn't blowing into our open windows, and talk to God. I felt that He was keeping me awake for this purpose.

This morning--as I write this, in fact--someone I love dearly is ending a six-year battle with powers beyond his control. He's the kind of person who would do anything for you. He makes a practice of sacrificing himself, and the lives of his children are undoubtedly the fruit of his devotion to God. He isn't perfect: he screams at traffic and hates to exercise and teases me mercilessly about the coincidence that I moved to Colorado the same month that marijuana did.
Our God pays attention to every detail. No matter
 how small, each piece of His plan works toward
 the masterpiece that is His will.

No one who knows him can understand why he's suffered these last six years. He's in a place, at this moment, where only God's divine intervention can save him. Pondering this last night, I remembered what one of my friends wrote for my book. Regarding a risky pregnancy, she had said to God, "This is Your chance for a miracle. You can do this now, and we will proclaim this is Your miracle. No doctor can take credit. If You don’t, then that’s okay." The circumstances are different, but my prayer was basically the same: "If You save him tomorrow, then everyone will know it was You and everyone will praise You."

"Shouldn't you praise Me anyway?"

God, as I worshiped You last night, so will I worship and praise You regardless of today's outcome. You have a perfect plan that is designed to carry out Your ultimate will: that all will know You as God and be saved by Your sacrifice of Jesus. I don't understand the parts of Your plan, but I trust that You know best and act as necessary to bring about Your will. And I thank You for sometimes letting me be a small part of that plan, even when it is painful.

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