When

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be
in my mouth.”
(Psalm 34:1)

When the sky shouts blue, umbrellas wear
Sunshine in their canvas hair,
Hardly a hint of clouds in sight
Winds whisper wondrous delights,
Doubts disappear with hardly a trace
Praises ascend, joy flushes our face.

But corners turn bleak, grey clouds loom
Broken umbrella, impending doom,
Dampness dissolves all aspects cheery
Laughter grows lean, smiles seem weary,
Perfect time still, to praise and believe
God’s perfect ways still supersedes.

When bills are paid, relationships whole
Kids line up, do what they’re told,
Exams are a cinch, the boss is elated
Friends gather close, love’s well stated
Easy condition to sing high praise
God is true source of bliss-filled days.

But when dollars shrink, friends have flown
Misbehaving kids are all you’ve known,
Boss morphs into an ogre in disguise
Failures hurl insults on all sides,
Time’s still right to elevate praises
God’s control overrules difficult stages.

When health appears robust, goals within reach
Winning bets common, life a grand feast,
Happy thoughts dominate every new page
Future brightness illuminates center stage,
Heaven’s songs appear like soothing rain
Nothing to lose, all to be gained

But when the doctor’s grim, health takes flight
Hospital stays run days into night
Sadness descends like grayish cold gloom
Life has barred joy out of the room,
Worship is sacrifice laid on the line
God can be trusted, regardless, this time.

“For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven…
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together…”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,3-4)

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

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