On my morning walk, I often meet Ron, an 87-year-old retired lobster fisherman. About a year ago he lost his lower leg. Today he walks with a prosthetic leg almost as well as he did before. Perhaps being an outstanding athlete has helped him at this time.
He lives in a house right by the sea with his wife. He is a very colorful and larger-than-life character. Every time I meet him he always says something about how great this day and this location are. For example, with a wave of his hand toward the Atlantic Ocean, he says things like:
What a beautiful day!
This a wonderful day!
This is great.
This is perfect.
It’s a glorious day! (He said that to me this very morning.)
Ron makes me think of the verse that says, “This is the day that The Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:23. He believes in God but doesn’t appear to have a personal relationship with Jesus yet. I’m still working on it. More than once I’ve told him. “You are like David in the Bible, always praising God.”
King David said, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth” Psalms 34:1. Another word for praise can be “extol,” which comes from the Latin that means to raise up.
You probably have heard about the wonderful answer our son Kevin has had this year, healing from cancer. When we have an answer to prayer we should make much of it, talk about it, and yes, write about it. We appreciate and celebrate what God has done.
When your child wins a contest at school, you are very happy about it as well as being happy for the child. When your favorite team wins the Super Bowl, you probably want to celebrate. How about it, friends in Florida?
I remember how happy I was when the Red Sox won the world series in 2003, for the first time in 85 years. How much more should we celebrate the answers to prayer that we are given! Giving praise to God is a great way to celebrate. “Praise” can mean to pay tribute to, do credit to, have a good word for, appreciate, celebrate, and to sing in worship.
We need to be sure that we remember what God has done for us. One way to do this in to write down the answers that we do have. This could be done in a special notebook or it could be a list on the wall. When we are in pain or really struggling with a problem or feel discouraged, it’s very helpful to have a list of answers to prayer that we can quickly turn to. This will put us into the mode of praising God.
As we celebrate this Sabbath, we can find plenty of answers to prayer and good things to praise God for. Let’s send our heartfelt praise right up to God.