Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Praise Him In the Heat

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies:  Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise."  Folliott S. Pierpoint (For the Beauty of the Earth)

In this time of unrelenting heat, it can be hard to sing praises as we watch things wilt before our eyes.  As the heat saps our strength, we have to be diligent in reminding ourselves that praises are to be flying forth from our mouths.  

I've noticed that as I grow...older and wiser, that there is a whole lot of complaining going on.  I find the itch of irritation come upon me at times when I hear people complain and never praise.   There is so little praise flowing from us and I can only imagine how much our complaining chaffs the Lord's ears.  I am not a fan of the extreme heat.  That is why I am so thankful that I live in a northern state.  However, I need some of that heat to head my way if I am ever going to be able to grow tomatoes in my garden.   So I've been thanking God for the heat, for without it, all I am able to grow is weeds.  Living in a northern state guarantees bitter cold days in the winter and at times large quantities of snow.  I knew this when I moved here, so I'm trying really hard to not complain when others do about our having another snowy day or a week where your nose hairs freeze the moment you step outside.  Without those hard winters, we would not have the water we need flowing through our rivers and streams.  Without those hard winters, I would be living somewhere that has really hot summers and that is NOT where I personally want to be. 

Recently, I began journeying into the land of flowering houseplants.  I am loving it.  As I've read and read and read about different plants and their requirements, I have been amazed by the amount of heat or sunlight that is required by so many of them.  These dainty blossoms seem as if they would wilt under the unrelenting heat of the sun, yet they flourish instead.  This new knowledge is helping me to keep my lips singing praises as the sun crawls across the sky.  

I am working on being thankful for every season while I am in it.  My days are numbered and I don't want to reach the end of them and wished that I had enjoyed my days more, when I actually had the time to enjoy them.  If we are willing to slow down and look for the Lord's handiwork in our day, then it is hard to find anything to complain about because we begin to see that the work of His hand is intricate and precise and without an ounce of waste.

In the perky spring months, I never see my kids while the sun is up.  They would rather cut off an appendage than come inside.  They will scamper about to get there chores done so they can flee to the freedom of the great outdoors.  Darkness and exhaustion is what brings them back indoors at the end of the day and I find myself missing them.  I watch them scurry here and there, exploring and playing and creating and make believing.  I dare not interrupt because my presence always seems to throw things off for them, even though they love me and know I mean well.  They are more free when I am on the periphery, watching and warning.  I am more a decoration to their day and I love to hear them as they chatter amongst themselves.  I provide the sustenance and warning system and that is all they desire from me.  So, naturally, I start to miss them.  Alas, something I can be thankful to the heat for...eventually it drives them inside and we are able to spend time together and I am a part of their daily heartbeat again...at least for a couple of hours.  Taking this a step further, the bite of winter keeps us all indoors for days at a time and we are woven together like a blanket and I enjoy this time with them.  However, the Lord in his infinite wisdom knows that we would eventually kill each other and at just the right time, spring abounds and we scatter to refuel and take a break from each other.   God's wondrous ebb and flow of the seasons and for that I am singing His praises.

"To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us- and He has given us everything."  Thomas Merton

Be blessed.

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