APRIL 21

Read | Psalm 111

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart

    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;

    they are pondered by all who delight in them.

Glorious and majestic are his deeds,

    and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wonders to be remembered;

    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.

He provides food for those who fear him;

    he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,

    giving them the lands of other nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;

    all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are established for ever and ever,

    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.

He provided redemption for his people;

    he ordained his covenant forever—

    holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.

    To him belongs eternal praise.

Respond | Joey Dearduff

Even in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty we find ourselves praising God, if not for what we usually praise God than at least for unexpected and unexplainable graces in our upturned lives. The question Psalm 111 leaves us with, however, is how we are to give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. Is it even possible to praise God with my whole heart, when that very heart itself does not feel full but instead broken and hurting and longing? What is sure is that God accepts whatever version of me I give: elated or defeated, seeking or satisfied, adventurous or timid, quarantined or liberated. Whatever sort of heart you might have in this time and space is a heart that God will receive from you. Your heart need not be whole for you to give your whole heart to God. Amen.

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