SPRINGTIME PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, the God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’—the coyotes and the buzzards—Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.” (Isaiah 43:16-21)
We bring our praise to You, O God. To whom else shall we go? We are a people custom-made to praise You. So, we do! For rivers of water in dry places, for majestic mountains and mighty oceans, we praise You. We praise You for green, green, GREEN everywhere we look these spring days.
We remember all too well that it has not always been so, for we have seen fire and flood, devastation and destruction. Yet, the promise of spring is with us again. So today, we pause to say,
Thank You for doing a new thing in our lives. Thank You for hope. We thank You for every raindrop and snowflake of our very wet winter. Thank You for the newness of spring as it blooms and blossoms across the landscapes of our lives.
As we lean into the newness of nature, the color, moisture, and sheen of things, will You give us eyes to see the newness You are creating within us, too?
Thank You that the rain of Your mercy continually washes us clean and makes us new.
Thank You that our past mistakes do not have to determine our future. Thank You that Your grand gift of salvation means more than saying the right words or believing the right things.
We are always works-in-progress, aren’t we? Like a river moving through the barrenness of our hearts, Your saving grace continuously makes us new. It’s not a one-and-done kind of deal, is it, Lord? We are constantly being saved. Thank You.
GOD, YOU ARE NOT DONE WITH US
Your friend Isaiah reminds us to let the past go – and he gives us the mandate to “be alert and to be present,” ever on the lookout for what You’re up to, for Your work of newness. Thank You, thank You, thank You that You are not done with us, that You are not done with our world, that You are not done with gift-giving, care-taking, and companionship, that You will never stop seeing us, knowing us, loving us, saving us.
We will admit to discouragement at times, Lord. It’s loud out there in the world – and sometimes it’s loud inside, too: in the church, where we work, in our homes, in our hearts, and in our minds. We find the noise exhausting some days. When that happens, Lord, will You help us hear the lovely sounds of Your river of life right in the middle of our deserts?
Remind us of Your goodness, Your creative imagination, Your awareness of our brokenness, and Your concern for our welfare. Then, empower us to offer those same things to one another, will You, please?
We do not want to be like those who come to throw stones and then turn away because of their shame. Shame is never your idea, is it? No, it is not.
Your idea is always newness, Your life-giving water poured into the driest parts of us,
Your encouragement spread across our discouragement, Your grace triumphant over our shame.
Oh, thank You, thank You. Because of Jesus, amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Is there a small, often-overlooked something for which you can praise God today? Our printable Living a Life of Celebration might give you ideas.
- Is there a poem or song you can use to aid in praising God?
- How about using our printable coloring page, O Sing to the Lord a New Song?
- Read through our 33 Biblical “One Anothers” Ask God to show you how to share praising Him with someone else.
Diana R.G. Trautwein
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer & Creative
Diana is a follower of Jesus, wife to Richard since 1965, mom to 3 adult children, blessed MIL to their three spouses, Nana to 8 grandkids ranging in age from 13-32, and GMIL to one amazing young woman (who just passed her doctoral dissertation in mathematics - hooray!). She has been a stay-at-home mom, a small business owner, a mid-life seminary student and TA, and a pastor for over 20 years. Diana is also a certified spiritual director and a Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer & Creative. Connect with her at DianaTrautwein.com.
Living a Life of Celebration
Don’t let the little moments, small blessings, or tiny triumphs slip by unnoticed or unacknowledged. Instead, pause. Give thanks. Join the chorus of creation and share your joy.