We ended 2012 and began the New Year at the Oregon coast. A friend generously gave us the use of his vacation home overlooking Netarts bay. We needed to do something different as a family. The past year has been marked with moments of definable hardship and sadness, leaving us with more questions than answers, giving us reason to pause. So. We left together, soaking in the presence of one another and the beauty of creation. The mountains, the bay, and the ocean gave perspective; the unusual quietness brought rest; the unstructured schedule removed time pressures. And. We renewed our hope, the more of God.
I’ve seen the tragedy when people lose hope, when nothing matters, when passion dries up, when joy leaves, when love ends, when darkness fills the day. And. I’ve learned it’s a choice to hope, to live passionate and joyful with a love that will not stop, walking hand in hand with the Light of the world. The written words in Psalm 30 speak to where we’ve been and where we’re going, embracing the hope of healing in brokenness, life in death, joy in sorrow, and dancing in mourning:
I will exalt you, Lord,
for you rescued me . . .
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me . . .
You restored my health . . .
You brought me up from the grave . . .
You kept me from falling into the pit of death . . .
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing . . .
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy . . . (Excerpts from Psalm 30, NLT).
These words of hope promise the more of God. The first words mark the decision to worship God. And. Yes. When we feel far from the presence of God, it can be hard to be aware of the Divine and harder to worship. But. Wherever we are at in life, even in the most unlikely places, whether we whisper or shout, we change when we exalt God. Worship brings us closer to the heart of God, the place of hope.
So. Worship today. Exalt God.
And. Hope today. Hope is the more of God.
Learning to Kickstart the day with God,
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)