If the walls of this house we call home could talk they would not tell a pretty story of our morning.
It seems to happen every time the hubs is away. I stay up way too late. One dog wakes up way too early to announce that another dog wasn’t feeling too good, or so the floor and rancid odor would indicate. Coffee, usually delivered, must be self brewed. Alarm malfunctions. The boy oversleeps. Bad news awaits me in my inbox.
I can feel the bubbles of grumbles forming on the bottom of my heart, at first barely noticeable but without warning violently foaming and spilling a flood of ingratitude over the sides of the pan.
Habit draws me from my steaming mess to words on thin pages, somehow they miraculously mop up all that has bubbled over and spilled out. “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Ps. 111.2).
The causal observer of circumstances misses greater works embedded in the under slept, startled awake places. Panic rarely leads to praise. Grace overwhelms the unforeseen. The Word reminds me, our lives must be studied, examined, investigated, and scrutinized. Rocks in the path must be overturned to find treasures buried underneath. From the surface, bad mornings appear absent of God’s presence. Life’s circumstances can get blown out of proportion and blind us to God’s goodness.
The Psalmist goes on in Psalm 111 to say that God’s work is full of honor and majesty. His deeds are wonderful. He provides all that flows in rhythm with the concert of His covenant. His works display His power. They are faithful and just. His precepts trustworthy; He performs each and everyone in my life with faithfulness and uprightness.
No wonder the Psalmist declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!
But where is the beginning of the fear of Lord?
Thanksgiving. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart” (Ps. 111.1). When the details of bad mornings…or months…or years…are overwhelmed by the testimony of evidence of God’s work, fear–awe, the kind that lacks adequate words–forms little bubbles that spill over into avalanches of wise thanksgiving. Not casual “Oh thank you for the crappy morning.” But deep, abiding comfort that God is so much bigger than a bad morning…His goodness is thousands of generations strong and growing stronger today. It is trustworthy for the moment at hand and for the ones far off.
We only get this deep kind of thanksgiving by careful study. You can’t be flippant with thanksgiving. It is not for the faint of heart. It requires resiliency and devotion. Like a diligent student whose teacher has delighted him with the subject at hand and he can’t stop himself from learning more. God’s honor and majesty and righteousness and graciousness and mercy and provision power and faithfulness and justice and uprightness and redemption can be found in all the details of our lives. Every day. That is, for those who will study it. Will you?
“Holy and awesome is his name.” Today may your heart bubble up with the knowledge of His goodness in all kinds of unsuspecting places and spill out praise, yes, uncontainable praise.