August 30: praise

“Day and night they never stop saying:”

This morning, I was sitting on our back deck watching the world around me come to life. It was a beautiful scene with birds and squirrels and deer. Although I cannot tell for sure, the animals appeared content. And, they were intent on one thing – survival. For all they contribute to the world and to my pleasure, there is something they cannot do. Give praise to their Creator. You and I can do that. You and I can contemplate our purpose and give praise.

Reading Revelation (and Ezekiel) is like listening to the description of someone else’s dream. It doesn’t make a lot of sense until we begin to understand the symbolism. As you read, hopefully you have a good study Bible to help you understand the symbolism. John was writing to people living under intense persecution. What I hear in Revelation 4 is this: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Praise. Day and night, never stop saying praise.

I have not ever lived under intense persecution, and I would never presume to understand what that must be like. I have faced challenges. I have struggled. I have considered giving up. I have experienced times when the present was so hard I was unable to think about tomorrow. Praise. Not because that will get my mind off my thoughts. Not because that will suddenly change what is happening. Praise. Because that will change me and how I get through whatever I am facing.

Day and night. Never stop. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come. God’s power and holiness extend from eternity past to eternity yet to come. That God wants a relationship with me! And I am able to reach out and give praise. Praise God for that!

Today’s readings: Ezekiel 8-11; Revelation 4

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