My dear friend, Barbara, often blesses me with some small gift just to let me know she is thinking of me. Some time ago, she gave me a small, solar-powered flower; this little gal waves her two arm-like leaves, as though she were praising the Lord, every time the sun is shining brightly.
Yesterday, we were both waiving our arms. After all, life has been pretty good lately; my family has a great deal to be thankful for. As I was meditating on God’s goodness and His faithfulness, the following song lyrics came to mind:
I’ve been on the mountain when the sun was shining bright, and I’ve been in the valley when the clouds were black as night…
In that moment, I heard that still small voice (see I Kings 19:11-13) gently convicting, “What about the dark times, do you praise me then?” To which I had to confess that lately I hadn’t –at least not as much, or as often, as I should.
I find it so easy to lift my hands, and heart, in praise when life is good, and all is well. To praise Him in the darkest hours is never quite as easy. But we can learn a lesson from King David. Though he was often distraught over many issues, and struggled with them, he always came back to praise. Unlike that little Dollar Store flower that only lifts its arms when the sun is shining brightly, David proclaimed:
I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4
Then I recalled another part of the aforementioned song and remembered how many times these very words were true in my own life:
You know I’ve heard the battle raging, then I prayed till victory came. There have been times I really thought, Lord, you don’t even know my name. But I’ve been blessed and I’ve been down to where I didn’t know what to do, But in the times of joy or sorrow, Lord, I’ve learned to lean on you…..When I don’t know what to do, I have the faith you’re gonna see me through, to supply my every need; I lean on you!
What about you dear reader, are you currently walking through a dark valley? Your Heavenly Father, is right there beside you, waiting for you to lean on Him and find rest from all your burdens. Moreover, while you are waiting for the sun to shine brightly again, why not raise your hands and praise Him, with full assurance that He is going to see you through!