When I was a young girl (back before the days of cable & VCRs), "The Wizard of Oz" would come on television once a year. From the time I saw the first commercial announcing its pending arrival, I could hardly wait for that night to come. Every year, I'd sit patiently through the "boring" (black & white) part, eagerly anticipating the appearance of The Lollipop Guild, The Lullaby League, and, of course, Glenda the Good Witch. I just loved the part where Dorothy met Scarecrow and invited him to come along on her journey to the Emerald City. I was enthralled by the bright Yellow Brick Road and those snazzy ruby slippers. My fascination was soon lost...when the trees started talking, I headed for the door. Talking inanimate objects are just plain spooky, if you ask me!
When Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, the crowd went wild. They waved palm branches and shouted praises to God for all the miracles they'd witnessed during Jesus' ministry. The Gospel of Luke says "the whole crowd" of disciples was giving joyful praise. Some Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke them. His response is our 2nd verse in the 40 by 40 challenge.
"I tell you, " he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40)
As a girl who doesn't like talking trees, I'm not crazy about the idea of talking stones, either! So, how do I keep them from crying out? I praise God!
Last week's verse instructed us to remember what we've seen and to not let those things slip away from our hearts. But it's not enough to simply remember. We've also got to praise God for those things. He wants to know we appreciate them...that we recognize them as gifts only He could give. And we are also to let others know about it. Through our praise, we are teaching others about Him. We're also reminding ourselves of His goodness.
I'm convinced that I don't praise god enough because I don't look for Him enough. It's easy to find Him in the big things. It's in the mundane, daily living that I have a hard time realizing He's there. Wouldn't you think our BIG God hiding in the every day is kinda' like an elephant trying to hide behind a telephone pole? He's sticking out all over the place! Yet so often I'm focused on the part of Him that I can't see.
So, I'm making a concentrated effort to look for Him in even the tiniest areas of my life. Like this week. I recently decided I wanted a treadmill. I never voiced that desire out loud, because I couldn't justify the expense. Earlier this week, a friend asked me if I wanted her old treadmill! God heard my heart and provided me with something I hadn't even asked Him for! He also gave me a weekend at the beach with one of my dearest friends...a chance to fellowship and share with her, to discuss God and our families in a way we never have time to do in the "real world". I was able to be captivated again by His power and majesty. How can anyone watch the ocean's continual motion and not realize it's the creation of an ingenious God? How can I look at my family and my own life and not realize the same thing?
It's time for me to praise more and complain less. To remind myself how truly magnificent He is. To remember the amazing things He's done. I don't want to be responsible for any talking stones. Do you? If you need to jump start your praise, our dear friend Boomama has just the thing...so click here and get ready to shout to the Lord!
(updated to add: I lost another 0.6 pounds this week...so I'm at -4.4 total. Considering how I ate at the beach, and that I'm foolish enough to track my weight on Mondays, I'm still pretty happy! I'll start bonding with my new treadmill tonight!)