“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.” (Psalm 34:1-2)
Some mornings the birds sing a bright tune, their cheerful sounds synchronized perfectly to my mood. The sun tumbles from the white sheets of clouds, stretches out its arms across the horizon, and wraps itself around the morning in a gigantic hug. Sleep brought gallons of sweetness with it, and I rise to meet the day’s demands with a bushel of energy in each productive step.
Other days not so much.
When sleep is an elusive wrestle, my fuel gauge registers empty. Dissonance is the sound at the windowpane, and boulders are somehow stacked inside my chest. The sun is barely awake, cowering in a soggy, gray towel. Wherever did that gurgling brook go, the splashing of sparkling water skipping over small, smooth rocks? Why am I left immersed in brackish, stagnant concerns?
Some days I sprint toward the Word and bask in God’s delightful presence, lingering long, learning lots. The Scriptures supply comfort, challenge me to pursue new dreams, to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint. The words almost elevate off the page, focus my attention, instruct me in the way to go while making me acutely aware that his protection rests over me.
Other days not so much.
Sometimes the passage in front of me mimics a repetitive chorus I’ve heard before but can’t quite place. I stare at the dry morsels that seem like hard-to-swallow gravel. Each moment at the table begs distractions; I easily succumb and turn instead to more tolerable portions of junk food.
Perhaps tomorrow will hold the promise of hope, brimming with possibilities beyond my present understanding. Today the choice before me is to still praise God right where I find myself, to lift my face to his, even beneath overcast shadows. I will choose to place one unsteady foot in front of the other since part of his plan has always included the difficult and unmanageable.
A daily dose of easy was never the guarantee.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water…So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy” (Psalm 63:1,4-5,7).
Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Photo Credit: Rebecca Asryan