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20200707_201359 Goodness, I’m telling you, some of the stuff going on in our country right now has me a bit ruffled up.

So I’ve decided to just share some pictures of all the flowers in my garden. They’re very pretty, even if a bit buggy and chewed up. I just wanted to say that because that’s how I feel too, a bit buggy and chewed up.

20200707_200856 (1)Psalm 22 is quite lovely, “He inhabits the praises of His people.” Or if you prefer, “He is enthroned in the praises of His people.” I like to imagine our praises building a throne around Him. It’s a really encouraging passage because if you’re ever feeling stressed out, just start praising His name. Worship is actually a form of spiritual warfare. It changes things. It also helps to get your mind off your struggles.

20200707_200657 (1)I once had no worship going on anywhere, no fellowship, no church, and the only time I ever heard the Lord’s name was in vain. I was hearing it a lot too, like ten times an hour. People never curse out Buddha, or the name of an ex husband, or their own selves! Nope, it’s always “Jesus.” It’s kind of an amusing memory because I was going quite mad until the Lord whispered, every time you hear my name, just praise it. So that’s exactly what I did. I started calling out, “Amen! God is so good.” Every time someone said, “Jesus Christ,” I’d yell back, “Amen! He’s my Lord and Savior.” It was some very gentle and rather amusing evangelism, but I got some people’s attention.

20200707_200730Sadly, more somberly, two of those young people are now dead. Yeah, our witness, no matter how chewed up and buggy, really matters. I am comforted by the fact that before they left us, at least  I watered them, like one might water flowers.

We Christians tend to enjoy our little coffee cup slogans, our poetic words of scripture, the parts that sound like positive thinking. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, it’s a good thing. I just kind of chuckle when I think of Psalm 22 because we don’t often focus on the other parts, the parts that come before and after, “He inhabits the praises of His people.”

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Yep, the very same words Jesus says on the cross. You just can’t fit words like this on a coffee mug, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.”

20200707_200911(0)“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” Psalm 22 is a song of suffering, lament, very prophetic too, and it ends in victory, Jesus Christ’s victory. It finishes with, “they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”

He has done it. Over and over and over again, I have to remind myself it is finished. He is seated in victory at the right hand of the Father and we are invited to sit with Him in victory, in heavenly places.

20200707_200814“Victory” is not always what we think it is. It can be a very soft thing, a very small thing. Sometimes there is victory to be found in simply being very still and very quiet. And sometimes not, sometimes victory is breaking your silence and singing out from the rooftops.

When we say, “He inhabits the praises of His people,” we are bringing God’s authority in heaven down to earth. On Earth as it is in heaven….