THERE was a time in my life when ‘put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness’ was an anthem – when, as I endured the loss of everything I held dear, I received comfort for the hope I had that God might turn it all around.
God does that! God turns things around for us, ultimately, when we look high into the unknown heavens, tears streaming down our face, our nose running, a mind in anguish, but with a brave smile in our heart for the hope of being restored.
When we put on the garment of praise in our spirit of heaviness we draw down deeply into God and our Lord makes us search for ways to praise.
Praise cannot just come, but in knowing our obedience is to be blessed, we search for ways to praise God in the midst of our sullen iniquity.
We somehow know that praise will lift our spirits. We know, through prior experience, that through praise we know joy and that joy leads to peace, and in peace is rest. Rest from anguish is what we really seek. And when we finally arrive at a moment’s rest we taste it and that gives us the innate desire for more.
The good news is that that rest is the eventual product for obedience.
When Anguish Catapults Rest and Rest Catapults Praise
Out of the valley of sadness, the abyss of despair, and the crevice of anxiousness, comes the desire to return to a safe and steady state of mind and heart.
This desire is what catapults us from anguish – a great and swirling passion derived out of pain – into the state of rest, for we cannot leave things as they are. We know there is gain out of our pain if we obey God.
This obedience catapults us. We are blessed by God for the inputs of submission, for if we search for a way to praise, God will give us what we need to know and do.
Having achieved even a foretaste of rest we become spiritually determined to do all we can to feel more of this blessing of God. Then comes more rest, and then more again. We come to know how to get there. It’s because of our praise. Out of rest we find praise is easier, for we have experienced blessing, and blessing enough for the time being. We see how faithful God is and that abounds to more praise in our hearts.
When we put on the garment of praise for our heaviness of spirit we receive rest and our confidence in God’s faithfulness is buoyed.
© 2014 Garments of Praise. Written by S. J. Wickham.