The garment of praise Advent Day 11

Putting on the garment of praise this morning. Choosing joy. 
A sore throat threatens to steal it away, but a Christmas carol in a lower octave still works. 

There are songs at the table this morning. Humming during math from my son who sings all the time, and no one tells him to stop which is the unusual part. We look at each other and say, it's a new day. Good Morning, Lord. Thank you for another day. 

Sometimes it feels like we're faking it. Do we wait until all is well to put on praise? Praising Him in the storm is a choice. Habbakuk also makes this choice in the midst of the "what is not"... Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places (3:18) 

The choice to put on joy is mine. Sometimes the mind must choose before the heart follows. Psalm 71:14 says, As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 

Anna the prophetess is one I think about often this Advent. Maybe it's persistence in the 

what hasn't happened yet. Her showing up each day at the temple. Her wanting for what is to come that she knows will come. Her life shows up in a tiny portion of Scripture but she represents so much more. And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.… (Luke 2:36) 

I wonder how hard it was for her on those gray days to put on that garment of praise and joy. 

It's not hard to dissect this story and fill in the rest if you have an imagination. A widow seven years after her marriage. Marrying young was common in those days so I do the math and am in awe at her perseverance in prayer for all those year. Going to the temple, the dwelling of the Most High. Her reward and blessing is seeing the coming of the Messiah. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38) 

Beautiful words. Prophetic words. She reflects the beauty of the One who made her to praise. 
Asking for that garment and for the grace to a pray-er and praise-er today. 

beauty by J


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