As this journey continues so does my learning about how critical it is to have Jesus at the forefront of each day’s walk. The last couple of days I’ve addressed what Jesus is pointing out about my need to praise Him. As I’m practicing this periodically throughout the day I find that praise is much more of an expression for trust, faith, hope–those things for which we have not seen or touched. Giving thanks is much more tied to things which have completed themselves or things which have begun and are on the right track. My personal awakening in this has been the reality that “I thank” far more than “I praise”.
My growing up years were ones of much abuse. I understand now that my brother’s sexual abuse/use of me stemmed back to the fact I was kind to him. There is a gene in my blood line which has little kindness in it and instead is judgmental and critical. This was from my father’s lineage. My other brothers were critical of this brother so he chose me. He use to tell me at times when there wasn’t abuse taking place that he liked that I was nice to him. The critical side of my father would label me as needing to have my spirit broken so I’d be tough and my interests would be more like a “man”–competitive, mechanical, sports-minded, etc. Somehow in all of this I learned to quit hoping. Instead, I would thank if something actually took place which was good.
Today God is teaching me that my past is GONE. This new creation can praise knowing who my ONE TRUE GOD is. He is praiseworthy for no matter the strife of the day, I can praise God in it. There is nothing which man does which God cannot use in His toolbox if we turn it over to Him. Last night in Celebrate Recovery this became true once again. Two new men were present. Both of them stated how grateful they were to hear other men talk openly about the very things they thought they could never mention out loud. One of the men’s topic was childhood sexual abuse. GOD IS AMAZING!