The writers of are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on, iTunes, and

NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

A Sweet Sacrifice

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5

 “I’m inside, outside, upside, downside happy all the time.”

I have the joy of serving as the children’s minister at my church. For anyone who has ever worked with kids, you know that “happy-ness” is too often a prerequisite for doing your job. So what are we to do when something painful happens that knocks us out? Should we just suck it up and be happy? As the song says above, are we truly to be happy all the time?

I don’t think so. If you read through the Psalms you find David (and other writers) being incredibly honest about their struggles. I think God has given us that freedom as well.

But ultimately, and perhaps most difficultly, God asks us to give up our right to let grief define our life. What do I mean? The example of Job offers us a lesson in picking ourselves up from this grief. Job complained to God, and ultimately God called him to praise. Job had to let it out and then give up that right to dwell.

And this is what I feel that God has been teaching me. In a lot of ways he has given me a break, allowed me to heal as he did his work around me. But now he is asking me to follow, he is asking me to serve.

In the past few years, Psalms 42 and 43 have been increasingly meaningful to me, especially the refrain “Yet will I praise you, my King and my God.” In times of extreme pain I have found my soul crying out these words as I wrestle with God. I can’t always see his plan, but my faith demands that I praise him.

Uttering the words of the psalmist, following the path of Job, can cause incredible pain and result in great sacrifice. God has not fulfilled a very honest and biblical desire of my heart, the desire for a child. As I grieve over this loss, I find myself unable to leave the Father’s presence. And that’s a great place to be, but ultimately it demands that I give up my selfish desires.

“Yet will I praise you” demands that I rest. It doesn’t take the pain away, but it takes away my right to let that grief overtake me. And ultimately the peace of God replaces the grief. It doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen. That’s why it’s a sweet sacrifice.

Father, guide us by your presence into your rich peace.

Amy O

No comments: