Recognition

“Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”

Psalm 63:3  

It was just a few minutes before 6:00 a.m. this morning as I was driving to prayer at the church and I came up to a stoplight. I glanced to my left and there was an AM/PM convenience store. Nothing was out of the ordinary except that the night lights were still on and I took note of how bright the lights were on the sign that has the gas prices listed. They were bright digital lights and I laughed out loud thinking to myself why I was paying so much attention to that sign that I have seen literally thousands of times since I both live and work nearby. I said a quick prayer for the business and all who would visit the store throughout the day and drove on wondering why the Lord brought that sign to my mind in the first place.

The answer would come soon enough. One of our associate pastors who was leading our time of prayer selected Psalm 148 as the passage we would read and launch into prayer from today. Psalm 148 reads as follows,

1  Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
2  Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
3  Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4  Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!
5  Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
6  He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
7  Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths;
8  Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9  Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10  Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;
11  Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth;
12  Both young men and maidens; Old men and children.
13  Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14  And He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints-- Of the children of Israel, A people near to Him. Praise the LORD!

Upon reading the Pslam I immediately understood why the Lord had quickened the AM/PM to my mind. It had to do with the word praise. My online dictionary defined praise, “to glorify, honor, exalt, pay tribute, recognize.” It was the word ‘recognize’ that stood out as I read through the Psalm and considered my own experience early in the morning.

Psalm 148 draws our attention that all of creation recognizes the Lord is over all. As Colossians 1:16-17 states so clearly, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” When we recognize that fact the natural response is praise.

The Lord causing me to focus on the details of my neighborhood AM/PM reminded me of how unaware I am of things that are all around me on a day to day basis. I confess my mind wanders, I am often oblivious to my surroundings and yet when I read psalm 148 I am immediately reminded that when I recognize that God is all around me and in everything I see and even in the things I don’t see my response becomes to join in creation in praising the Lord.

Look around today, look up into the heavens, look down upon the earth if you like. Focus on nature or on people. If you will take time to focus, to recognize your surroundings, like all these groups listed in Psalm 148, you too will find yourself praising the Lord.


“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!”

Psalm 150:6

 
 



 


Michael Osthimer

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