During the holiday season, many singles find it hard to be thankful. Memories of the past, prayers for the future, and the 'weight of the wait; make it difficult to be jolly, let alone content.
My singleness journey taught me about the sacrifice of praise through the humanity of the Psalms. One study states that over 40% of the recorded Psalms are laments (expressions of sorrow and regret). My favorite example of this is Psalm 13:
A PSALM OF DAVID (A plea for deliverance)
v1 Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?
v2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?
v3 Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death.
v4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
v5 But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance.
v6 I will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.
Just like we do when it comes to our singleness, David begins this Psalm by asking God “How long?” four times in the first two verses. He follows with a request in verse three, and a worry in verse four. What first struck me was how honest he was with God about his fears and his impatience. But more than that, I was encouraged by how he ended the Psalm. The last two verses, like many of the lamenting Psalms, ended with praise. In spite of all the inner turmoil, fear and doubt, David sealed it all with a praise. In doing this, David paints a literal picture of the sacrifice of praise (Psalm 116:17).
As singles, we are called to do the same. That begins with being honest with ourselves and honest with God. Like David. Bearing everything in prayer. Confessing not only our sin, but our doubts, worries, and struggles too. God doesn’t want us to deny, hide, or suppress our feelings. He wants us to give them to Him. He wants us to empty ourselves of all that baggage until nothing is left. And there, right there in that emptiness, He wants our praise.
There’s a reason Isaiah 61:3 tells us that we are to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” It won’t be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it. I found out that after we “cast all our cares on Him” (Psalms 55:22), and offer Him the sincere, heartfelt, “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15), a trickle-down effect will begin that will really bless us in our singleness.
First, as we “pour out our hearts before Him” (Psalm 62:8) we are ushered into His presence, for “He dwells the midst of our praise” (Psalm 22:3). Once in His presence, we have access to “the fullness of joy” (Psalms 16:11). And that joy – the Lord’s joy – “is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Did you see that? We went from pouring out our heart to God and giving Him praise, to receiving joy and strength.
That’s the purpose of Poetic Praise – For Seasons of Singleness. To realize that no matter what our marital status is, we should always “Give unto the Lord the glory that is due unto His name” (Psalms 29:2).
Poetic Praise is a collection of 35 poems I wrote in various seasons of my singleness. Some of the poems will make you laugh. A few may make you shed a tear. Several will give you a Selah moment - a moment of quiet introspection. But most of them will lead you into praise.
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Poetricia Publishing © 2018