Three words

Every living person will have, is having, or has had a chapter in their life story that can only be described as a dark valley of sadness and despair.  Broken chapters. There’s no way around it.  No way to skip over them and hurry on to the good part. Brokenness can show up in many different forms. Death, addictions, abandonment, on and on. The list of possible scenarios really is endless.

Brokenness happens. To every one of us. Hasn’t happened to you yet? Well hang on. It will at some point.

Having lived as many decades as I have, of course there have been plenty of broken chapters in my life story. Life in real form. None of these chapters were pretty and none of the details are necessary to share. Just think of your own broken chapters and read on.

During a broken chapter many years ago I had one very close friend who was aware of my situation. I was able to talk with her through my tears. She would listen and she would cry along with me.  Always I did most of the talking, and she just listened.  But one particular conversation before church she said three words to me that stopped me short.  It was really the only advice she gave me, and it sure didn’t seem like the profound help I might need.  She said:  “Just praise Him”.  Really?  I’m at my lowest point ever in the history of my life story.  Praise Him?  When I can barely make it through an hour without weeping, how on earth can I offer anything close to real praise?

But I learned that there is power in praise.   Praise through brokenness forces us to spend time thinking until we come up with something to genuinely thank Him for.  The sacrifice of praise involves finding the good.  Whatever is good, pure, true, honorable, lovely, excellent, just, commendable — think on these things.  Philippians 4:8.  Find the good.  There is ALWAYS good to find.

Broken chapters don’t get much more difficult than losing a child. My niece recently watched her precious little 8 year old girl spend the last year of her life battling stage 4 cancer. I watched her and her husband suffer through indescribably difficult days and nights. The word “difficult” doesn’t even begin to define. Her strength amazed and inspired me, though. During some of the darkest days of her life I heard her say “I’m a firm believer that there is always something to be thankful for in every single day.” She chose to praise Him. Even while her heart was broken and her life shattered.

Broken praise takes our mind off of our problems and helps us focus on the One who has the answers.

Eloquence not needed. No minimum number of words required for Him to process your message of praise. Even through a flood of tears when all you can say is “thank you Jesus”. Just. Praise. Him.

 He is worthy of our praise.  He works through those who praise Him. There is power in praise.  Especially broken praise.  Broken praise is precious to the heart of our Father.  Offer up your broken hallelujah. Watch him use your broken praise to change your heart.

The beautiful thing about broken chapters? They’re just chapters. They’re not the whole story. The page will turn, your story will improve. Praise God. Just Praise Him!!!


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