Unbroken Praise?

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “praise.”

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“Unbroken praise be yours, God, forever.
All my praise be yours, God, forever.
Lord, take this life; let it become your throne.
Unbroken praise be yours.”

I raised my voice, joining with others to sing, but somehow the words “unbroken praise” didn’t seem accurate.  All I could think about was how broken my praise really was.

I associated praise with joy and thanksgiving, rejoicing in who God is and in the blessings he gives, but as we sang this song each night at the end of the camp I was leading, I was mainly just relieved that we had made it through another day.

The preparation for the week, and the week itself, had been hard on many levels and, while I had definitely known God’s help in the midst of that, a big part of me just wanted to get to the end of the week so that the task was completed and we could move on.

My praise was broken.

But as I look back, it reminds me what praise really is.

Praise is not about having it all together, enjoying favourable circumstances and coming with the perfect attitude, and it’s not about how we feel.

Praise is about choosing to come to God anyway, to declare- in the midst of the challenges- that God is still good.  It’s about making the choice to lift our eyes above our circumstances- even if it’s just for a moment, even if we can’t lift them very far- to focus on who God is.

And I think God delights in our broken praise.

I think of the widow who brought two copper coins to the Temple treasury.  To many, her offering seemed worthless and insignificant, but Jesus was pleased because she gave what she had.

Even when others may not know our struggles and our circumstances, God knows, and he rejoices when we choose to come to him, and offer our praise- however broken it may be.

“So let my deeds outrun my words,
And let my life outweigh my songs.
Unbroken praise be yours.”

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