Celebrate! Or not.

   Seven weeks of this pandemic has taken its toll on all of us.  Some are faring better than others.  My family is not ill, I do not know anyone personally with the virus and certainly no one who has died.  My income continues so at this point, nothing has changed for me financially. I actually have more money because I can’t go shopping.  However, if you are one of the 5% of people hospitalized and one of 2.5% who have lost a loved one, I dare not minimize your loss.  I do have friends who have lost their jobs, lost their restaurant and cannot work due to the restraints.  Early in this mess, I received a text from a friend telling me she would not survive this pandemic financially or professionally.  Seven weeks later she is looking at the situation more hopefully.  Nevertheless, there are days, weeks, months when it is simply too much to go on.  Rewind to the Tenth Avenue North song I posted several days ago.  “I’m tired, I’m weary, my heart is heavy from the work it takes to keep on breathing”.  Sometimes, it feels just too hard to go on.  Sometimes it seems that this will never end and if it does, we’ll never have a life again.  Hopeless.  No hope breeds fear.  And we’ve already established that is not God’s plan for us.
    Last week I heard a sermon called ‘The Power of Praise’.  The well-known speaker and pastor suggested that, perhaps, it is time for praise.  He cited several Biblical references to praise BEFORE the answer appeared.  Isaiah 49:13 (CEV) says “Tell the heavens and the earth to celebrate and sing; command every mountain to join in the song. The LORD’s people have suffered, but he has shown mercy and given them comfort.”   We have suffered.   Even though the present seems full of misery and sadness, we have no reason to question God’s mercy.  We have every reason to believe He will give us comfort.  
   In the 80’s I sang a song about praise.   I would choose to sing it when things weren’t going my way.   My friend and accompanist, (shout out in Heaven, Brenda) would always remind me that I shouldn’t praise in hopes of getting out of the tough situation.  My praise must come from a heart that knows Him and is willing to praise regardless of the circumstances.    
Thinkin’ about getting my praise on!

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