“Rejoice in The Lord?”, she said.
What could there possibly be to rejoice in? It’s a lovely thought, but not reality.
A praise fashioned from her heart would seem material, fabricated, fake. Nothing but genuine angst filled her spirit. Why even try to rejoice when all that is natural is tears and sadness.
How is it that we rejoice when the ball seems to constantly miss the goal and our shots have run out? It seems pointless. Hopeless. Senseless. Dare I say, stupid. It even seems stupid.
Direct rejection of reality that moves itself in the direction of faith is a flawless lamp to His feet. When rejection seems inevitable, it’s the very moment when praises need be embraced and accepted. Not just righteously and piously rolling off of our tongues in a fashion fit for an audience. But praises fraught with tears coined from a battle hard fought with life. Praises sacrificially derived from monstrous circumstances not even yet overcome.
But hope runs near. Where praise is, joy is not far behind. Seemingly insurmountable circumstances grant themselves possible in the midst if ballsy praise. And yes this Christian girl did just use the word ballsy.
Psalm 64:10 seems to say it best.
“Let the righteous rejoice in The Lord and take refuge in Him; let all the upright in heart praise Him.”
Righteous and upright may seem a bit off the mark to describe the state of our current hearts and minds, but Jesus makes them so. And so sacrifices are lifted from a gut twisted wrenching heart. Praises no other human could fathom offering because they were meant to be uttered by you.
Why can you praise The Lord in the midst of cancer? Because this praise was made for you. Why can you praise The Lord after burying a child? Because this praise can only be given by you. Why praise The Lord with the loss of every conceivable stable person you have known? Because The Lord said praise. And take refuge.
Refuge in Him. Refuge among the baggage. Refuge at the foot of the cross. Refuge in freedom. Refuge and praise. Redemption from pain. Joy born to die and rise again. Refuge and praise in Him.