Black holes permeate our world, places where the light seems never to penetrate. We fall into them from time to time. Catastrophes, terrors and wars claim our attention. Circumstances conspire to separate us from the people we love or from our dreams and desires. Our prayers and thoughts seem to rise no further that the ceiling of our rooms. God seems very far away. But is he?
Jeremiah 23:23,24: Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
The problem with distance from God is that we have put it there. He did not. We have let our eyes wander from him to gaze at other things. Our minds are occupied with day to day trivia. We have neglected our attitude of gratitude. We have forgotten that he is with us as immediately as our next breath. We may forget, but God never does.
Isaiah 49:1, 16: Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
He is constantly with us, whether we recognize it or not. So how do we climb out of these black holes? Hebrews has the answer for us.
Hebrews 13:15: 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.
There are times when praising the Lord feels like a sacrifice. It isn’t the natural thing to do. When losses overwhelm us, when children stray from the path we have set before them, when co-workers seek to undermine our livelihood, praise is generally the last thing on our minds.
“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of feeling than to feel yourself into a new way of acting.“~ Harry Stack Sullivan
Turn the corners of your mouth a little upwards, don’t you know / If you keep a’smilin’ always, discontent ain’t room to grow.