It’s Saturday night.

Our time to worship HIM.

 

Worship.  It’s about Him.  It’s not about me. 

The congregation sings a song I know so well.  A song I sang with the kids’ worship team at my old church.

It seems that every other week lately we’ve been singing a song to which “my” kids and I made up motions and led a multitude of other children in singing worship to our great God.

“My” kids because I loved them (still do).   “My” kids, because we were a team.   A family.  We celebrated, cried, prayed, and had fun together.  We had the best of times every Wednesday night and Sunday morning.

 

“My” kids

 

As I stood in my new church, singing a song I often sang with “my” kids, I started moving my hands in the motions the kids and I made up for the song.    Memories began flooding my mind.  My heart hurt.

Later in the service we sang another song, Blessed be Your Name by Matt Redman.  

Here’s the chorus:

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

My hurt heart broke as we sang the chorus.  I thought about “my” kids.  How blessed I was to work with them. To teach them about worship.  To help them grow in their faith journey.  To be a loving adult in their lives.

Eventually the kids would have grown out of that ministry and moved on.  It would have been natural.  But, we had an unplanned abrupt parting.  And it was difficult for all of us.  The words the congregation sang, “You give and take away,” stung.  I was privileged to have had this ministry with such a terrific group of kids.  Truly a gift.  God didn’t exactly take that away from me, but he didn’t stop it from happening.

One thing I learned through that difficult process, “My heart will choose to say….Lord, blessed be Your name.” Why?  Because though my heart still hurts, there is JOY in choosing to thank him for it and saying, “Lord, blessed be Your name.”

Yes, there were a few tears and silent sobs.  I don’t think that God wants to make the hurt go away.  He wants me to have a grateful heart for what I had.  He wants to me to bless his name, in other words, give him thanks.

John Piper writes, “So to bless God means to recognize his great richness, strength, and gracious bounty and to express our gratitude and delight in seeing and experiencing it.”

 

AnExtraordinaryDay | Berkshires Mountain View

 

Whatever our circumstances, we need to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

There is another chorus to the song….

Every blessing You pour out I’ll
Turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord

 

AnExtraordinaryDay | Joy Day! (Berkshires)

 

So here we are another Joy Day!  A time for us to give thanks.  To count our blessings.

To bless the Lord.  Even when He gives and takes away.

 

Can you, will you, say thanks for the hard thing, the wish-it-weren’t-true thing of this past week?  Maybe it’s something that happened some time ago.  Maybe giving God thanks for it will be the start of healing a wound or memory.  Will you?

 

Will you join me in counting it ALL?  The good and the not so good?

Here are just seven from my week:

  • Blueberries with real cream whipped
  • Basement cupboards
  • Poppy
  • Sonny’s prayer
  • “My” kids
  • Endless weeds
  • A break in the heat

It’s your turn.  Below – will you share seven?  Even just one?

 

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

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Comments

  1. Amen! I love this song!

    Have a blessed Sunday!
    karianne

    • Hi Karianne!
      One day after hearing it at church, my husband said, “If I were to die, I’d like that song sung at my funeral.” I hope that isn’t anytime soon….but it certainly is meaningful.
      ~Diane

  2. Change can be so hard! Sometimes we don’t see the blessings until much later.
    Prayers,
    Michelle
    http://normalchaosforamultitaskmom.blogspot.com/2012/07/its-all-about-perspective.html

    • Yes Michelle that is often so true. The joy comes in leaning on him and trusting him and giving thanks in spite of our circumstances. It’s one of the things I discovered on my journey when the path became difficult and challenging. That in itself is a blessing, too.
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!

      Reply

  3. Sue Williams says:

    Yesterday, I listened to a pastor who said that God takes our deserts, adds grace, and with that extra ingrediant, changes a desert into a dessert. Then he demonstrated his point by making several delicious desserts! Sweet! He also said that when God adds HIs grace to the most difficult events in our lives, they become the greatest blessings; the heaviest crosses with God’s grace become our greatest transformational events. This is why I am grateful for the past struggles and the present blessings. Your posting is an extra measure of grace for the message God was giving me. I hope you’ll have an extra, extra measure of grace this week.

    • Grace. It’s all grace. Thank you for sharing that Sue.
      May your week be filled with lots of little grace moments to encourage you.

  4. I love the Piper quote.
    Miixing the “great indoors” pictures with the “great outdoors” shots you took helps put everything in the right perspective too. He really does know what he is doing.

    • Thanks Tim! Piper said it so well and succinctly.
      God really does know what’s best for us and uses every single situation to develop us into his likeness.
      Hope your day is amazing!

  5. Hi Diane,
    Thank you for sharing how you are choosing to bless God, and hold onto Him through your hard time. Grateful how He redeems our pain (Romans 8:28 and 29). Linked up behind you at Laura B’s blog…I wrote about saying “good-bye” to our dog. Blessings in Him.

    • Thanks for stopping by Dolly.
      God IS our redeemer in more ways than our redemption from sin. I’m so grateful.
      Hope your day is blessed in every way.

  6. Thinking about this very subject just this morning! He gives and takes away; trusting that he knows what he’s doing, for his glory and our good. I’ve had quite a few losses this year; they hurt. Blessings to you.

    • Oh Lisa, I am so sorry for your losses. I’m thankful for grace and the knowledge that our loving Father knows our hurt and uses it to make us into his likeness. Nothing is wasted.
      May your week is grace filled.

  7. just found you at A Holy Experience…I love that song and it chokes me up every time we sing it. I am also counting the gifts. Despite the pain that fills my body I am choosing to say Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!

    • Hello Alida!
      Glad you’re counting gifts, too! It gives us the proper focus and perspective when the way is difficult and yours sounds challenging.
      May you experience an abundance of His grace today.

  8. Hi, Diane. I’m sorry for this pain…relationships can be so hard on this side of glory. I pray you find comfort and purpose in this new ministry.

  9. Diane, I found your post from beholding your glory. What awesome timing. I needed the encouragement your post brought. As Christians we know God is in control, but sometimes it’s so hard to trust through those difficult times! Thanks for sharing your heart!
    Kathie

    • Oh Kathie, I’m blessed to be used of God as an encouragement. God is good…all the time. I know that when I take the control reins, I’m always sorry. It’s always best to lean on the ONE who knows the way and what’s best for us. He really does work all things together for our good and His glory. Those were seemingly trite words in the past. Now they are full of grace.
      May trust in the ONE who is totally trustworthy.
      Blessings!

  10. Sheila Eagan says:

    Hi Diane
    I have to say “your kids” & their Parents miss you & Tim very much
    Children’s worship has not been the same since we lost you
    We have been praying & searching for a few years now, praying God shows us soon where he wants us
    My older 3 children were truly blessed to be ministered to by you both
    You truly loved ministering to children and your true love for Jesus shown throw clearly too
    Thing just are not the same at WCH these days 🙁
    Sending hugs to you both 🙂

    • Hi Sheila!
      It’s so good to ‘hear’ from you!!! We are in a good place now, but I miss my ‘family’ of good people like you and yours. I’m so sorry to hear that you continue to struggle. But, I have no doubt that God will confirm in your spirit where he wants you to serve and learn and worship. I will pray.
      Big hugs back…and hello to everyone in your beautiful family. Please stay in touch…even if it is just through my blog. And thanks for reading and leaving your heartfelt thoughts. 😀

  11. What a lovely and very thought provoking post! Yes. I know the point you make and I know it well! I look back all the time and see how God has blessed me through ALL the things that have happened in my life…not just the “praiseworthy” things that I can easily identify. The hardest things to endure usually end up the very things that have grown my faith more than anything else. So I try to acknowledge it all, in His Name. 🙂

  12. We sang that song in church today. Since November, when my baby girl died, that song (and songs like it) have taken on a new meaning. I’ve loved this song since I first heard it many years ago…but now I wonder, did I know what I was singing when I voiced the words “He gives AND TAKES away”? I’ve been through a lot of hard stuff in this life so far, but throughout it all I only experienced God giving in the midst of yucky circumstances — until my daughter died. Then, the words of the song became real. I had to CHOOSE to say “blessed be the Lord,” then, because I didn’t feel that was true…but knew it with my head, and chose to belief, and say, it. Thanks for your thoughts on this! I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. <3

    • Dear Beth…I am so very sorry. I cannot even begin to know your heartache. But, I am glad that we both know the ONE who knows and understands and captures all our tears. May you experience overwhelming grace in the choosing. May your heart truly be able to say, “Blessed be the Lord.” Hugs, friend.

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