by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
Of course, the alarm sounded all bright and happy. I promptly reached over and shut it off. Rolling over, a cardinal’s morning song outside my window tried to tempt me towards praise, but it wasn’t happening. Not today. I groaned and pulled the covers over my head.
My heart was not happy.
My attitude was terrible.
And, unlike the Apostle Paul, I was not content in all things. In fact, I was frustrated to no end. Things were not going as planned. Actually, it felt like things weren’t going at all! I felt stuck. Trapped. Confused. And bothered. SO bothered. It’s no wonder I couldn’t hear the Lord’s guidance or reassurance — my heart was clogged with thoughts that surely were not of God.
The cardinal continued with her incessant singing. Begrudgingly, I pulled the covers down, just a little bit, so I could listen. I knew enough to know that my heart was in danger of becoming hardened. I also knew the Lord was trying to intervene, but I had to let Him. He wasn’t going to bust my door down.
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As I lay there listening to the cardinal praise her Creator I remembered a psalm David had written when he felt separated from God because of a sinful heart. I first learned this psalm in a bible study during college. We sang it:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit.
[Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me]
~ Psalm 51:10-12, KJV
I thought of those words as the song played in my mind. At first, the melody played by rote from my memory, but as it circled back around, I realized the words were becoming a prayer — my prayer of confession to a holy God. I didn’t want my attitude to separate me from rich fellowship with Him. A bad attitude was, after all, an expression of mistrust. Either I believe He is the Sovereign God, or I don’t. Either I believe He orchestrates the days of my life, or I don’t. Either I believe He plans to give me a future and a hope, or I don’t.
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I choose to believe.
God has never, ever failed me. Never. And I know He never will. So, when I cannot trace His hand, I have to trust His heart because His heart is turned towards me … and you.
Words of confession flowed from my lips. I owned up to my sorry attitude and discontentment and asked the Lord to forgive me. I began to think of all the things I can be thankful for, and I spoke them, laying each one on the altar like a single rose with sweet aroma — a gift to the One who is faithful.
Sitting up in bed, I wiped the tears running down my cheeks. The cardinal outside my window still sang her song of praise. I tiptoed to the window and peeked around the curtain at creation’s choir member. Thank you, little one, for your persistent song of praise.
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Persistent song of praise … I believe there’s a lot of truth in those words.
Praising Him regardless of our circumstances because of who He is.
You never know who might be listening.
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