Friday night I had the wonderful privilege of experiencing Christy Nockels in concert (for free!). Her song, Waiting Here For You, from Passion 2010, has been a powerful marker in my journey of waiting the past 2 1/2 years.
Christy was fabulous in concert.
Her second song was Everlasting God which marked my first journey of waiting for a baby.
Her third song was Waiting Here For You. I've heard it hundreds of times. I've sung it, worshiped to it, sobbed while listening to it. The lyrics are powerful and beautiful.
But this time there was one phrase that caused me to stop, pause and consider.
Waiting here for you
With our hands lifted high in praise
And it's you we adore
I had my hands held high while singing:
With our hands lifted high...in praise.
Those two simple words change everything.
Lifting my hands in praise tells God that I am here. I am waiting. But I am not waiting without meaning or direction or purpose.
I am waiting with praise.
Friends, we are not called to praise God once our waiting is over. We are called to praise God now, in the midst of our waiting. We are called to lift our hands high...bow our heads low...kneel...worship...in praise.
Praising God is a vital part of our waiting and it's a key component to waiting well. We can--and should--praise God in the midst of heartache and grief and longing and desperation and joy and fear and worry and exhaustion. We must become a people who not only praise God on the highest of mountain tops, but in the lowest of valleys.
Does the world not praise when the sun shines brightly? It's only a true lover of Jesus that can still praise when the hour is dark. God promises to turn our mourning into rejoicing, our wailing into dancing and make beauty from our ashes.
But we must praise Him now...in the mourning, in the wailing, in the ashes...simply because He is able.
I will praise you O Lord my God, with all my heart.~Psalm 86
We don't praise God out of obligation or in hopes that our praise leads to answered prayer. We praise God today simply for who He is. Our Redeemer. Our Savior. Our refuge and strength. Our protector. Our comforter. Our Father.
Tomorrow I will share with you a powerful message about prayer. One of the main points in the message is that our praise must not be contingent.
The pastor says: "I am afraid in our consumer-driven culture that Christians have bought into the lie that I will praise Him when He answers. But that's wrong. We praise Him for who He is, not for what He has done."
I am inspired today to praise God because He is good. He is sovereign. He is the alpha and omega. He is the mover of mountains and the healer of hearts. He is all-powerful. He is goodness. He is justice. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is holiness. He is hope.
I am waiting here for You Lord. But I wait in praise with my hands lifted high.