Exalt: Adapted from Zephaniah 3: 14-20. I Shout for Joy. I rejoice and exalt with all of my heart. Lord, You take away Your judgments against me; You clear away my enemies. I fear disaster no more! I am not afraid because You, Lord, are in my midst like a victorious warrior. You bring exultation and joy. You are quiet in Your love. Here are Your promises, Oh Lord, which I claim today. You save the lame and gather the outcast, You turn shame into praise and renown, You bring everyone in, and You restore fortunes before our eyes. I sing praises to Your holy name. Amen
In 1993 when I began writing down my prayers daily, I was not the same person I am today. Back then, I was quick to judge and easily aggravated if I thought something was unfair. The change that I have experienced was slow coming and not always sequential. Backsliding was really easy. It still is. I can forget everything I have learned in a nanosecond and melt down like the best of us. I like to think my recovery from a meltdown is quicker, but I have learned that my self evaluation is not always the best judge. But one thing that is certain is that I know God is good. When I think about how good God is, and how unthankful I can be, I weep. I think of the patient and kind and strong people I know who do their jobs day after day with joy in their hearts. The person who bags groceries as if they were precious gifts, the teacher who comforts a first grader having a difficult time, the nurse who gets an extra pillow for the patient getting chemo, the volunteer who prays with a person in prison. God’s goodness is all around us—and I do not want to miss it anymore. Spending time with God before I start my day allows me to remember and appreciate that God loves humanity more than we do. Will we take time to see that love in action today? Will we exalt God with praise and thanksgiving?