Family God Moments

Our Family’s Journey to Find God in the Everyday

We Praise in the Good AND the Bad?

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My son, Judson, and I had the opportunity on a beautiful spring day to go to the forest, just the two of us. We played together, we hiked, we took pictures, we talked, we laughed.

The sun was shining, the forest was full of life. It was so simple, yet absolutely amazing – and God’s presence was all over the place – in the green growth on the trees, the sounds of birds, the bees buzzing around the flowers, the trickle of a small stream. I felt pure joy, so blessed – entirely filled with God’s love.

At church the following morning, the scripture was about Jesus our shepherd (from John 10). We sang that praise song by Matt Redman from way back in 2002 – “Blessed be Your Name.”  As we sang, I reflected on my time with Judson in the forest. The second verse really resonated with me:

 

“Blessed be your name,
When the sun’s shining down on me.
When the world’s all as it should be,
Blessed be your name.”

This verse put into words how I had felt the afternoon before with my son; simply present with him in God’s creation. Fully engaged in life with my son – something I’ve been trying hard to do better. (See Finally! A Relaxed Family Night at Home.)

But the praise song continues:

“Blessed be your name,
On the road marked with suffering;
Though there’s pain in the offering;
Blessed be Your name.”

This is where it can be hard to be a believer and put our trust in God. It is easy to believe and seek God’s presence when the “world is all as it should be.” When we are suffering, the easy thing is to blame God or be angry with God – certainly not praise God’s name.

But God is always with me – no matter what journey I am on. And the Bible is full of encouraging words to remind me of this.

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

 

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hand.  Isaiah 41:10

 

“…And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:20

 

And it is from God’s constant presence – whether it be our most joyous moments or the most painful – that we can find a heart of praise; so we can praise our God no matter what life throws at us.

 

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