When you’re having a no good very bad day, can you still praise someone else for a job well done? When you’re having a no good very bad week? Very bad month? Very bad season? Can you still praise someone else for who they are? What they’ve done? For delivering a stellar presentation? For making a basket before the buzzer? For getting an A on that dreaded group paper? For taking the first step after rehab?
Is it hard when we’re down, to look outside ourselves and recognize the awesome in others and tell them how awesome they are? Sure it is. Because you’re sad or made, and “snapping out of it” isn’t useful practical advice. But if you can muster up the self awareness and the courage, it can also be the most precious gift we can give someone else. And it can help us see the world and our circumstances from a different perspective.
We can still praise other people for who they are, even when we’re in the midst of our difficult moments.
And for some of us, it’s not only hard to praise other people, but it’s even harder to praise God when we’re in those same difficult moments. I was wondering why. Why is it hard to praise God in the difficult moments?
- It’s hard to praise God in the difficult moments because honestly we don’t want to praise him FOR the difficult moments.
- I think it’s the word… praise. I think it’s the word… worship.
In difficult moments, not for difficult moments.
When I praise another person for who they are, or what they’ve done, it’s not related to my circumstances. It’s not about me. It’s about them. It’s not about my moment. It’s about their moment. What if I looked at God like I would another person? If I recognized his accomplishments in His moment… regardless of my moment?
Synonyms are helpful; think beyond praise
Sometimes the word praise and the word worship… they feel like foreign words. Not a part of my every day vocabulary. Too fluffy, too religious-y, too Christian-ease. And we over complicate it. When and if we use those words, we have these images in our head. Hands in the air at church. Kneeling with our heads bowed and eyes closed. People shouting on Christian TV programs and falling to the floor…
But what if we praised God the way we praise people? What if we wrote Him a thank you note? Gave Him a high give? Gave Him a compliment?
Even in our difficult moments, which are unrelated to the success of those around us, we can still recognize the awesome in someone else. We can still tell them we are proud of them, that they did a good job, that they inspire and amaze us.
Focus on their moment. Not our moment.
In the midst of the rough moments, I want to be able to recognize what God has done and make it a point to pause and recognize all that he is. Just like I would with a colleague. Just like I would with my husband. Just like I would with a friend.
- in the midst of big changes and uncertainty and unclear direction
- in the midst of thinking we should go left, and then being unsure if we should go right…
- in the midst of longer timelines and people saying no
In the midst of my moment, I want to look outside God, to your moment.
And thank you.
Thank you, God, for creating the ocean and the sun and everything in between. Thank you for making things complicated, intricate, invisible to the eye and yet beautiful under a microscope… just because. Thank you for the people you’ve placed in my life for short times and life times. Thank you for the air in my lungs and my beating heart. Thank you for hugs and coffee. Thank you for another lap around the sun.
Let all that is within me praise the Lord… compliment the Lord… thank the Lord… high-five the Lord.
And tell him he’s awesome. And awe-inspiring. From wherever I am. From whenever I am. From the bottom of my heart.