|Before COVID-19 uprooted our typical routine, Ken and I attended our church’s Sunday worship service each week. The Pomeroy family, including the youngest, Veronica, usually sat a few rows in front of us. Veronica liked to wear pretty hats over her blond hair. She also coughed a lot. I used to think she was plagued by frequent colds. I later learned she has cystic fibrosis, a severe lung disease that clogs her breathing passages with phlegm.
I sometimes watched Veronica during worship service. Especially when we sang hymns. She gasped in between the lines, and I wondered what God must have been thinking as he received her praise. Actually, I already knew. “With such sacrifices God is pleased.” More than pleased; God’s greatness is magnified when Veronica determined to wheeze her way through a hymn—her gutsy praise demonstrated how special she thinks God is. What’s more, with her limited lung capacity, Veronica inspired me to fill my chest and harmonize with all my heart. Praise is then multiplied!
As we grit our teeth to offer praise for who God is, we are living out Psalm 141:2: “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” A sacrifice of praise demonstrates the enormously high value we attach to him. God is pleased with the praise you give him, but he swells with joy when the praise he breathes has the aroma of a sweet-smelling sacrifice. Today pick an attribute of God out of your pain and proclaim, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12).
I praise you, Lord, for being so faithful, so consistent, so merciful and compassionate to me, even through—especially through—the hurt.