Praise Breather

Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 148:1-8:

“Praise ye the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD from the heavens:
Praise him in the heights.
Praise ye him, all his angels:
Praise ye him, all his hosts.
Praise ye him, sun and moon:
Praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens,
And ye waters that be above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the LORD:
For he commanded, and they were created.
He hath also stablished them forever and ever:
He hath made a decree which shall not pass.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
Ye dragons, and all deeps:
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour;
Stormy wind fulfilling his word:”

Have you ever had your breath taken away? I don’t mean that you were running up stairs and almost passed out! But that you saw something so beautiful, so poignant, that for one moment your breath was taken away. Maybe it was a wedding—maybe a funeral. Maybe a brief moment between a mother and her newborn child—or maybe it was nature: a sky full of stars, a mountain dropping away into rolling valleys beneath your feet. The ocean—the sky after a storm—a single rose, glittering with dew. Have you ever been so struck by sheer beauty that you couldn’t breathe?

I have. Strangely enough, it wasn’t a parent/child moment, or a scene in nature (although I have seen some beautiful things!). Rather, it was a psalm—Psalm 148.

Psalm 148 begins as many Psalms do—with a call to praise. “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights” the psalmist proclaims. But suddenly, in the middle of the psalm, shines a passage of stunning clarity and beauty:

“Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word.”

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I was struck by the beauty of this passage. In my head I can visualize the psalmist calling on all nature to praise, to worship the Almighty God—YAHWEH in all His glory. The dragons—creatures of great and deadly power. The deeps—the boundless ocean, roaring its praise on high. The very weather—snow, hail, rain, wind, all in a majestic symphony to the “One that inhabiteth eternity.” The Creator God—acknowledged by His mute creation, with a beauty and majesty we can scarcely comprehend. Can you hear it? Can you see the world around you rising up in praise to this God—to our God?

Maybe not everyone suffers from a poetry gene like I do. But I challenge you—look around. Be in awe of the world God has made. Learn from them! Learn to praise God from an overflowing heart. If nature can express praise to God so eloquently, how can we, the pinnacle of His creation, do any less?

-Jessica W., AZ


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