However in the course of the last two hours, my perspective has changed.
This morning when I opened my Lenten reading to Psalm 34:
"I will praise the LORD at all times."
All times: When my plans are changed. When optimism has left the building. When timing isn't right. These are the times: when faith is easy, and when it is not.
Amazingly, it was in the midst of this mornings pity-party prayer time that I was reminded of a preacher I heard speak nearly twenty years ago. His name was Dave Busby.
I remember hearing him speak praises of the Lord with genuine love and energy.
This man, his slight frame made shorter by a body coping with the fallout of disease, had been sickly all of his life. Polio and cystic fibrosis had not been kind. Yet he could preach with power of ten healthy men. I had seen it with my own eyes.
Dave died in December 1997, just a year or so after I heard him speak, but I was able to find a website that has some video and quotes taken from Dave's sermons and journal.
This last week has not been what I had anticipated. All four of us came down with the flu, and instead of enjoying a week of fun filled togetherness, we have had a week on the couch, or in the bed, chasing Advil down with orange juice. The Mister has turned a corner, but the kids and I are all still very poorly at various stages of this virus.
It hasn't been what I had planned.
But perhaps this plan was better...
"Difficult day... a nation at war, a recession in the economy, flu in the house and flu in the body, cold weather, busy schedules...the list goes on. These are the times that are most conducive for God's sweet refreshing presence. A joy, a peace, a contentment regardless of circumstances. I turn to You, oh God, my rock. You are my hope in despair, my security in stability, my spring in winter, my peace in war, my joy in sickness. Energize me to endure with joy. " Dave Busby (Jan. 30, 1991)It was Providence that I should come across this quote this very morning.
These are the times that are most conducive for God's sweet refreshing presence... Kellie, these days on the couch have not been lost, but God has met you in the midst...
"...praise the LORD at all times.
...constantly speak his praises....boast only in the LORD;
let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces." (Psalm 34:1-5 NLT)