1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

–Psalm 103:1-4 (NLT)

out the windowIt’s a new day but I’m not feeling all the nice and wonderful things often associated with ‘new’.  Yesterday at church, we were read an announcement from the elders that our campus pastor had resigned.  My heart fell with the news.  I spent a majority of the rest of the day praying, writing, and talking about what all of this means.  The first thing that comes to mind is that we’re all in desperate need of God’s grace and mercy.  This revelation resonates with me on so many levels.  I think that part of the reason that I’m so affected is that so many of these issues are close to my heart – small decisions and nagging temptations that could quickly turn the tables of my own ministry and relationships.  It all takes me back to some of the things that the Spirit of God whispered to me in my darker times.  God reminds me that he’s still Good even if I’m not, that he still desires my worship, that he forgives and heals, and that the story of my life isn’t over yet.

I find myself hyper-sensitive to all of the recent whispers God has given me in the last month.  The whispers challenging what I’m about to say, cross-examining my motives, and beckoning me to avoid compromise.  Maybe it’s even been more than a whisper, but I struggle to hear it above the noise of my busy world.  God constantly calls out to me – speaking in some of the most unexpected places and reminding me that his plan is bigger than all of this.  I long to be totally in his will… for my life to be lost in his purposes… that my life becomes fully integrated into the mosaic that he’s designing.

I’m rejoicing in the fact that my life is in a more authentic and healthy place than it’s been in years… maybe ever.  I can be glad today that I have been blessed with wonderful relationships that support me in various ways and where I can contribute and be of value.  I’m thankful that God is providing for my natural needs and teaching me how to be productive and grow financially.  I’m humbled by the fact that my sin and my issues haven’t overcome God’s love and his plans.  I’m encouraged by the fact that I can look back on all he’s done personally and know that things are always getting better.  I LOVE MY GOD.  THE LORD IS AWESOME!  His goodness washes over me!

With all that is within me… the unfinished and inconsistant parts, the broken and hurting parts, the happy and rejoicing parts… ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME WILL PRAISE THE LORD!