To me, the idea of leading with praise is about discovering God's presence in every situation, reminding myself that God is bigger than my circumstances, and God is in control.
Well! So you know about the sick kids on Monday and Wednesday of last week. On Friday, I noticed that our downstairs toilet was clogged, so I dutifully set at it with the plunger. The water would go down, but the toilet never made that satisfying gurgling sound that lets me know the clog had been cleared. To make it short and
On Sunday, we got about 12 inches of snow (yay!), but remembered, too late, that the tractor (with which we plow) was not in the garage, but in the shed, about 200 feet away. Downhill. Through 12+ inches of snow.
On Monday, our snow blower broke in the attempt to rescue the tractor.
On Tuesday (yesterday!), whatever virus had afflicted my children last week laid siege to my body. Ug. Yes, I'm feeling better. Thanks for asking.
So it's been a lot of little things going wrong in the past 2 weeks. And a lot of practice at leading with praise: reminding myself that these little blips in life are nothing compared to eternity.
Here's what I learned. It's easy to lead with praise when something little goes wrong. Well, it's not easy as in it's second nature for me to look beyond my circumstances to the God of the universe being in control, but easy in the sense that once I tell myself that my first reaction should be praise, it just starts flowing. It becomes a little more difficult, however, when more and more little things keep going wrong. And I imagine that in some circumstances, circumstances that, praise God, I have never experienced, it would be close to impossible to lead with praise.
But, my friends, even then, even when you can't find one single thing to be thankful for, you can be thankful for these:
Thank you, God, that You are present, even in this situation.
Thank you, God, that You can and will redeem even this situation--that You will use it according to Your good purposes.
That, my friends, is truth.
And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.