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And If Not, He is Still Good

As a Third Order Secular Franciscan, one of my calls each day is to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, specifically Morning and Evening Prayer. I must admit that it’s not one of my favorite prayers. 

I have often wondered why God called me to the daily prayer of praise instead of other prayers. It is more a prayer of duty and obligation than a prayer I would choose on my own. Why? Praying prayers of praise are so difficult in times of suffering and long waiting. I would much rather lean towards pouring my heart out, meditating on God’s Word, novenas, and litanies.

Over time, it’s occurred to me that the struggle to praise God in those times is what God is looking for from me and it’s how He’s stretching me. Maybe that’s the witness the daily prayer of praise serves. To over and over again proclaim God’s goodness in the face of not having everything I desire or yearn for in life. To remain faithful to praise even when it hurts. To witness in my life’s actions: And if not, He’s still good.

It’s easy to praise God when we have the miracles. Everyone does that. It’s hard to praise God when we don’t have them and are still waiting on them. Not everyone does that.

People notice what you do in the face of suffering. It’s a witness and opportunity to respond like Jesus and the saints in terms of how you praise God, if you keep the faith, whether you continue to believe in God’s goodness when things aren’t moving in the direction you planned, and how you might transform the situation for God’s glory. 

Beyond witnessing, praising God during difficult times transforms your mindset and heart. It gradually heals bitterness, resentment, grief, and any other negative feelings you have. You could say it’s a daily practice of positive thinking, gratitude, and re-framing your thoughts which supports your mental and emotional well-being during this time.

How will you praise God during this time of waiting? How will you proclaim the truth that if not, He is still good?

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