Today my thoughts have been on the wise older women that quietly cross our paths. Most of us don’t know their stories and sadly we don’t make the effort to ask them. They have experienced life just as every one else has. Yes, their younger years happened at a different time but I am sure if we asked, the issues would still be the same just in a different package. I wonder what events turned them to Christ? What made them the warriors they are today? Is it during these times they learned that their strength comes from looking up?
I was studying in Psalms and came across 34:1,
“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
The first phrase “I will bless the Lord at all times,” means ‘She’ is resolved and fixed. (Charles Spurgeon) To break down further, “I Will” means ‘She’ is personally and for herself determined, let others do as they may; ‘she’ is intelligent in head and inflamed in heart-meaning ‘she’ knows to whom the praise is due, and what is due, and for what and when. There are a couple ladies that come to mind when I read his commentary of this verse. He goes on to say that ‘she’ is resolved to give praise to Jehovah and not to second causes is gratitude is to be rendered.
The second phrase of Psalm 34:1 is “At all times'”. This one is the hard one. At all times means at ALL times. No matter what is going on. Spurgeon says, “in every situation, under every circumstance, before, in and after trials, in bright days of glee, and dark nights of fear. To bless the Lord is never unseasonable.” I love that commentary. Compares to my husband’s grandmother’s commentary–“We need to praise God for allowing the hard times so that we remember how good the good times are.”
To me, it is kind of a thought or “praise” cycle. God allows bad times in our lives. If we praise Him before, in and after this turns our thoughts to the good times he has allowed as well. For me, if I begin thinking on the good things God has done for me–I don’t realize that I am not dwelling on the bad anymore.
If I am always praising Him will this change my outward countenance as well? The last phrase of verse 1 addresses my question, “His praise will always be on my lips”. I can’t just praise Him inwardly. I can’t just praise Him in my heart alone but I have to do it with my mouth too. My husband’s grandmother always said to us, “God is so good”. She emphasized ‘so’ with much peace. She praised with her mouth. It wasn’t a showy type of outward praise but merely a statement. Spurgeon phrased it as, “Good thoughts in our rooms and good words in the world”. God is so good.