One night a couple months ago, I was driving with the windows down on the way home from the beach during one of our mild South Florida "cool" fronts, singing along with Dave Grohl, "Ain't it the life, ain't it the life..." Flying my hand up and down in the cool wind outside my car window, I sang along without a worry in the world. It was the same week my wife and I paid our final credit card payment on a debt we'd been carrying for over 2 years. It was easy to talk to the Lord during that time- to say, "God, Your ways are perfect and I trust in You."
Any day we think to look up from our road rage to see the majesty of God's creation, praise and petition seem to roll off the tongue almost effortlessly.
Only days later, my grandfather passed away. Limited by words, I have to simply say, "we were very close." At his bedside, only 7 hours before he died, my wife and I, along with my dad, uncle, aunt, and grandmother, sang hymns of praise- through trembling voices, weak with sobbing: "When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." "All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided; great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me." "And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll."
It wasn't an "ain't it the life" moment. There would be no "hand flying" out the window on the way home. It wasn't effortless praise... it cost something. And yet somehow through the sorrow, I heard my lips repeat, "God, Your ways are perfect and I trust in You."
It struck me that God is God through times of joy and sorrow. Other "gods" require us to sacrifice one or the other, and yet our Heavenly Father is faithful through them both. Pause and give Him praise today- not because things are necessarily "right," but because all other ground is sinking sand.