The leaves have fallen from the maples and the oaks, and now they are nothing more than a heap of crooked limbs just sitting there looking like death. Mourning their loss. Hoping for spring. They are waiting, and waiting is so hard when there is no sign of life to come.
Praise is easy when the tree is full.
I scribbled those words down in a journal a year ago. I was thinking about them as I walked the dog today. The trees are bare just as they had been last year. Lately the wind has been harsh and the sky a bitter grey. Walking in this cold, dreary weather feels like a chore. I’d much prefer burying myself beneath a pile of blankets (with a good book and a cup of coffee, of course) and waiting for spring to arrive before I ventured outdoors.
I heard a chirrup in the trees and looked up to find a robin, her chest puffed proudly, indifferent to the weather. “And yet the birds persist,” I thought. The robin still perches upon the bare branch and sings out her song for the world to hear—praise to her Maker.
I’m reminded of a quote I’ve recently seen floating around social media. I don’t know where it originated (it seems to be attributed to a few different sources). “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.” It’s a humble reminder that praise and joy are a choice—a discipline—independent of our mood or circumstance.
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” Psalms 59:16-17