This week as I’ve been thinking about the gifts Gods gives us praise kept coming to mind. I cannot find any scripture that calls praise a gift but as I mediate and read scriptures on it I think it is. A special one that we can share with The Lord as He gives us the ability to praise and we give Him our praise.
There are times when praise doesn’t come as easy as depression seeps in but I know The Lord understands. If we read the psalms there are many that start with lamenting but end in praise as the author reminds himself of who God is. I do not believe that David will have always felt like praising, some psalms where written in dark, cold and gloomy caves while on the run but he still reminds himself of Gods goodness by praising Him.
In my early walk with the Lord, I cried everyday for a year, I spent three years pouring myself out to him asking for a release of the anxiety, depression and agoraphobia that so gripped me. It was very hard but when I was able I would listen to some music and cry, and say to the Lord I choose to praise you, despite my feelings. I asked over and over to be able to stand in a congregation of my brothers and sisters in Christ to praise Him.
Last Sunday (4 years later) I stood in front of the congregation at Church and sang. I had never in my life done that before. We all sang together to The Lord Jesus and it was wonderful. I am in awe of how good God has been to me. He has answered my prayer above and beyond how I would ever have hoped. I don’t believe however that the praise I gave on Sunday was any less pleasing To Him than the praise I choose to do when I am unwell.
I hope this post is an encouragement to anyone reading, please know that Jesus understands your pain and calling out to Him in your pain is massive act of trust and faith (even though I know it doesn’t feel like it) and that can be done in many ways. This was one of the ways I do it. I still now, pour out my heart when I sing to Him and you will find me many times crying without shame as I give it all to Him and worship His name. Because, I love Him.
I thought I would share a couple of songs that I used to listen to (and still do) when things are bad.
In future posts I will share more of the things I do that help me in the difficult days. I hear too many times of Christians feeling shame with mental illness and that is not how the Lord wants us to live. I hope what I share is a blessing and a help to those who feel this way. You are not alone.