When I'm Asking Why by Cara Blondo
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If you joined us last week, you know we were talking about children's innate ability to have a full conversation with one word: Why.
This week, my friend, Cara Blondo is expanding on this and helping us in the times when we find ourselves asking why - so much so our why's become whines because our circumstances are anything but praiseworthy. Whether you need this encouragement today or not, I'm glad you're here. I know Cara's reflection of Psalm 113 is one we want to keep in our back pocket.
Whether through teaching Bible studies, speaking to groups in person or online, or writing devotionals or other Christ-centered resources, Cara is passionate about helping women connect biblical truths to their everyday lives. Through her blog, The One Thing Desired, and podcast, Perspective Shifts, she hopes to encourage women to shift their perspective upward and come to know Him as their greatest desire. She and her husband have been married for more than twenty years and are blessed to have four children. You can connect with her on Instagram and/or Facebook.
Have you ever spent time with a child who incessantly asks the question, “Why?”
My youngest son went through a prolonged stage of following up everything I said with that question. My answers were only met with more questions.
As exacerbating as that was, if I’m honest, I can be like my son at times. There are times I, too, can doubt, question, and even ask “why.” God, why is this happening? Why am I still waiting? Why aren’t You doing something? Sound familiar?
While the Lord invites us to pour our hearts out to Him – the good, the bad, and the ugly (see Psalm 62:8) – if we aren’t careful, the excessive “why’s” can lead to a bigger and much more detrimental “why”: When my life feels like it’s falling apart, when things aren’t going as I hoped or expected, when I don’t feel like it, why should I praise You?
While we may not ask such a question with our words, we may reflect such a question with our lives if we notice our praise, worship, and gratitude begin to diminish when life gets tough.
If you’ve ever been there – or perhaps you’re experiencing that today – there’s good news: Psalm 113 provides the pathway to praise regardless of what we are feeling or facing.
Two Reasons to Praise
1) Who He Is
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high…” - Psalm 113:4-5
When we remember there is no one like Him, we can’t help but praise!
There is no one greater, no one higher, no one more wise or capable than our God. He sits enthroned – He sits on His throne – ruling, reigning, and forever in control.
That’s right: He still reigns over the very thing causing you to doubt and question, making you feel as though you have no praise left to give. And He still knows exactly what He is doing to bring about something for your good and His glory.
Instead of letting life’s difficulties bury your praise, consider allowing them to serve as the vehicle towards even greater praise: the kind of praise that only can be offered in the place of brokenness, when we’re praising solely because of who He is and not at all because of how we feel.
2) What He Does
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” - Psalm 113:5-9
Do you feel as though you are “stooped down” and bent over from the heaviness of all you’re carrying? Does it seem as though your problems are overlooked or looked over?
Friend, if so, be encouraged: despite the Lord sitting enthroned on high, He stoops, He looks, and He knows just what you need and just what to do. He is a personal God and therefore a praiseworthy God.
He sees you and responds by caring for you. Will you choose to see Him and respond by praising Him?
The next time you face devastating loss, crushing disappointment, or blinding confusion and wonder how you can ever praise Him through it, remember Psalm 113 – your pathway to praise. Even when our circumstances aren’t praiseworthy, our God still is because of who He is and what He does, Amen?
Our unchanging God never becomes unworthy of our unending praise, not even through our doubts or life’s difficulties.
As Spurgeon noted: “The Psalm is a circle, ending where it began, praising the Lord from its first syllable to its last. May our life-psalm partake of the same character, and never know a break or a conclusion. In an endless circle let us bless the Lord, whose mercies never cease.”
Now, It's Your Turn!
Before opening God's Word, take a moment to pray and ask God to meet you there. Then...
Read Psalm 113 a couple times. Highlight what stands out to you.
Circle verbs or specific wording you notice.
Then, write down a bullet point takeaway based on this. "I-statements" help make this personal. Think of this as a challenge statement.
When I feel “stooped down” and bent over from all the heaviness I'm carrying, I will remember God, while enthroned on high, stoops, looks, and knows just what I need and just what to do. He is worthy of my praise even now.
Then, jot down a question or two to think about today. You don't have to have the answer to this question now. And yield to the Holy Spirit - prayerfully ask God to search your heart and lead you to more truth and grow your faith through the Holy Spirit.
Would my life be considered a life-psalm? Never a break or a conclusion, a never-ending circle of praise? How can Psalm 113 serve as my pathway to praise today so no matter what yesterday looked like or even just an hour ago, my life-psalm can begin right now.
Again, we don't have to be Bible scholars and talk only in the thou's and art's of King James version to read this book. ...because when we pray before we read, we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is with us, guiding and teaching us.
Praise God for this!
And praise God for refreshment as we are intentional to spend a summer in the Psalms together, for if we want His truth to ever be on our lips, it must first be planted in our hearts.
Our strength grows as we rely on strength from above. Our joy grows as we see God transforming us from the inside out. Our peace grows as we spend time in God's presence, and we find rest when we intentionally seek the Lord first in our lives, for the Lord is ever our portion.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
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