“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15My daughter’s Bible and Ancient Egyptian history curriculum highlights the chronic malady of humanity through the ages. The Israelites complained constantly during their wilderness wanderings. Whining comes naturally to all of us! This is perhaps one of the harder challenges those who are chronically ill or the spouses of the chronically ill face. I think it is hypocritically wrong to pretend that everything is a-okay when it really isn’t. However, on the other hand, making the lives of others around us miserable by our complaints is not a godly attribute, either.
How can we be honest and yet uplifting when we may be facing some of life’s greatest and toughest situations? What if the doctor says there is no cure for your disease and little they can do to ease the pain? What if pain is your constant daily companion? What if your spouse rarely ever sleeps at night due to pain? What if your friends cannot possibly fathom your situation? What if you have no idea how to pay the next bill?
Recently I spoke to a Christian client whose wife is sick in bed yet again. Last Thanksgiving she had a heart attack as they were pulling into the driveway to have Thanksgiving dinner with their sons and beloved grandchildren. This year, her doctor practically ordered her to stay in bed and once again she has had to miss the special family gathering and festivities. The worst part, she said, was that she was feeling so ill, she couldn’t even concentrate on reading her Bible. Yet she blessed me so much by showing me a delightful diagram of the amazing, miraculous wings of a butterfly. She and I were both marveling at God’s fathomless hand in all the details of creation. In a moment of praise, our spirits were lifted.
The Creator God knows my situation intimately. My goal is strive for a praise offering to “the God of my life” every day. My child, my family, my clients need to know how great my God is. When I am reminded of His perfections, His love, His justice, His mercy, His wisdom, the pain of living in this sin-cursed earth with all its toil and trouble starts to fade.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.