Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's What to Wear Today

The desire for fashion has succumbed to the sheer need to be warm.  What is trendy is buried somewhere under bulky coats hidden in the back of the closets, layer upon layer underneath. Yesterday, the air actually felt warmer as I walked across a parking lot.  It was 12 degrees, the "high temperature" for the day.  It is 9 below zero right now, even as I write this.

The meteorologist these days is not just telling the temperature, the expected precipitation for the day (snow again?!?), and the teeth-chattering wind chill, but he also indicates what is appropriate apparel for the day and what not to wear.  He points to a visual chart that ranges from shirt sleeves or a light jacket, all the way down to a heavy coat, hat and gloves, the category he has been emphasizing day after day. This winter, it has not been a matter of what is fashionable nor even practical but what is necessary to prevent frostbite and even death.

What is appropriate for today?
What are you pulling out of your closet
             to put on for the day?
It is by what God's people should be known.

Praise befits the upright.
                Psalm 33.1

Not a insensitive and indifferent
                                "Praise the LORD!,"
but an indwelling heart condition,
grateful, loving, gracious
            and responsive to where we are,
                    what we are doing,
                and amidst difficulty,
          knowing that God is good.
Praise is not just a verbal response,
but how I see
        what I feel,
       how I approach the situation at hand
and respond to it,
   not just when things are going my way.

Praise to God
            is the antidote to despair.
Praise to God
             reveals our trust in Him.

"But I can't praise Him for this."
And yet,
that is how He strengthens us through it.
And sometimes,
      I just have to put on that coat
                         and zip it all the way up.
It is what is appropriate and necessary.
A mantle of praise is not a fashionable accessory
                   but what is needful.

...a garment of praise
      instead of a faint spirit.
                         Isaiah 61.3

What I choose to wear
       doesn't just get me through the day
but acknowledges the Almighty
and the reality of His Presence
                               in all things.

God protects, provides, and guides us
                       through the bitter winds
        not just on sunny warm days
        when life meets with my approval.
A heart of praise
          unveils the reality
          of His hope within.


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