A Garment of Praise

It was a heavy week of fatigue and pain, after a long summer of the same. Going out for two more tests, even though they were so minimal, felt like more than I could bear. The pain mounted on the day in between the two, and I thought I might never get up again.

But into that heaviness, a memory surfaced of a moment from within the day before. And joy began to swirl in my heart. How could that small moment, barely five minutes in length, with nothing particularly “spiritual” about it, bring to me such joy?

~~~~~~~~

I was sitting in the wheelchair, close to the entrance of the Medical Center, while my husband went to get the car. The sunshine was sparkling on the grasses and landscaping around me. As an elderly woman came out the same door and waited for her ride also, I suddenly felt a longing to speak through my masked face to her masked face.

“Oh, that sunshine feels so good, doesn’t it?” I gushed forth.

“Yes, it feels so, so good!” she answered me. “It was so cold inside there!”

As I answered, “Yes, it was cold in my house this morning! And this feels so good!” we both just paused, basking in the beauty of the moment. Then my husband drove up, and helped me get into our car as I spoke one last greeting of “Have a nice day!” to her.

That was it. Just a five minute or less encounter, but one that is still lingering in my heart, days afterward. I had another test two days later in that same building, but there was no person to wait outside with me this time, no chance encounter of joy spilling over. But what if there is something more?

Joy Unmasked

What if the joy we share
-a simple moment of sunshine
-a small gift of invitation
-a beauty beckoning to us
overflows to bigger moments?

My heart is lightened for a time
and I convey a smile to another,
your heart is lightened for a time
and you convey your smile to another
and our multiplied joy is spread.

Into a world that says hatred
bitterness and judgement is all,
fear and anger and fighting
is what our flesh clings to
as the way to bring about change.

But what if the joy we share
is the true way to change?

Even in a world where the
enemy has tried to mask our
smiles
true beauty cannot be masked
when we speak aloud our joy.
--bg

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:3 NIV

What if we chose to see through God’s eyes and listen through ears from His Spirit? We are not held prisoners by the enemy’s yoke of judgement. NO, we are held by the Spirit’s gift of freedom in these places of our dwelling. We are gifted with the love of Christ even in our hardest of days. And HE has given the true weapons to fight against the enemy’s hatred.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

2 Corinthias 10:3-5 NIV

He has given us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and whenever we speak aloud that joy, something is broken in the enemy’s cloaking of despair.

Will you join me this week as we keep our eyes open for His garments of praise?

I would love to pray with you today.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for coming to this earth to win for us the battle! We praise YOU here today, because we have seen You fight for us, when we have had no strength of our own. We have watched the light of Your love shine upon us in the darkest of days, and we have felt Your joy pouring over our hearts in the midst of despair. Will You help us to stand firm in this battle that is being waged over our world now? Will You remind us that our true weapons are spiritual and not fleshly? And will You show us how the enemy is defeated every time we lift up our praises to You? We are filled with that praise now, as we lift our voices to speak aloud YOUR gifts of beauty around us.

In Your name we pray,

Amen.

I am linking with: #TellHisStory #RememberMeMonday #GraceAndTruth

31 thoughts on “A Garment of Praise

    1. Dear Melissa,
      It truly was such a blessing. And while I felt that love during the moment, I truly was surprised at how long that love lingered. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, dear friend. May you be blessed and so well cared for today!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a sweet memory and testimony! I want to wear the garment of praise!! Thank you for the reminder that even the simplest of moments can touch our lives…or when can touch others!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer, Yes, I was truly so blessed when God brought the gift of that shared moment. I am so grateful that He knows exactly the best way to bless us. And yes, I am so glad to join in that praising along with you!

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    1. Oh, Dear Regina, I have loved to read your stories from around the world, where you have brought touches of joy and love everywhere you have gone. And even in your teaching, I know you have blessed so many. Thank you for stirring up that gift of praise for me too. Blessings and love for you tonight!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bettie, this is so encouraging. Just a short, simple encounter with someone else brought so much joy to both of you. May we all be on the lookout each day to find those moments of joy in the midst of pain. Your poem is beautiful. I love these last lines:
    “But what if the joy we share
    is the true way to change?

    Even in a world where the
    enemy has tried to mask our
    smiles
    true beauty cannot be masked
    when we speak aloud our joy.

    May we know and speak aloud our joy! Thank you so much for your prayer and for sharing so much from your heart. Bettie, I love you, dear sister! Blessings and hugs to you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl,
      Thank you for always pointing my heart to look up, and to find the beauty that God has for us. I am so grateful that He does find ways to show us how to speak aloud our joy. I have been so surprised at the way that the joy from that one short connection has lingered in my heart. Oh, may I keep looking up for His gifts. Blessings and hugs to you also my dear poet/sister/friend. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Bettie, oh this is such an inspiring post! What an encouragement for you to share a small moment of joy with another and for it to grow exponentially in the sharing. And as you relate your hard days and how God meets with you in the midst of the pain to offer His lightness and grace, we, too, are encouraged and made glad in the receiving. Joy is definitely multiplied in the sharing, even these seemingly too small to count encounters.

    I am deeply touched by your story, insights, beautiful poem and heartfelt prayer. But these words especially stood out to me as ones God wants me to heed: “We are not held prisoners by the enemy’s yoke of judgement. NO, we are held by the Spirit’s gift of freedom in these places of our dwelling. We are gifted with the love of Christ even in our hardest of days.” Amen, dear friend! I so appreciate this faith-filled reminder and how its lifting power. May you be equipped to stay strong on the inside and able to sense the often inexplicable joy that exists right in the midst of the hard and dark. Love you so much! Blessings and hugs. xoxo ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart of encouragement with me. I know that I have been so influenced by your writing about those small moments too. Oh, that I would keep my eyes open for more of those. It was such a surpise to me how that joy lingered for so long. Truly “joy is definitely multiplied in the sharing.” I so long to be “able to sense the often inexplicable joy that exists right in the midst of the hard and dark.” I appreciate your dear prayers so much. And I pray that same thing for you my dear sister. Love you so much too! Hugs and Blessings for you today! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, Dear LIsa! I love your title of that playlist. 🙂 We so easily forget how powerful praise and joy really are. I am so glad that our Lord reminds us to find joy in HIM! Blessings to you dear friend.

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    1. Oh, dear sister, I will keep you in my prayers now. May the Lord flood you with HIs joy today. I am so grateful that HE leads us to His own dear encouragement. Blessings to you.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this joy Bettie. The simple moments really are the big ones. You’ve expressed this beautifully. I’m visiting today from the Grace and Truth link up. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for joining me here in prayer! I so appreciate the joy and encouragement that you share. You are so right that “sometimes it is the simple things that bring the most joy.” Blessings and prayers for you this week also!

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    1. Dear Mary,
      Yes, isn’t it such a gift when our Lord meets us while we are praising HIM? He has such grace for us. Thank you for your precious prayers. I so appreciate them! Blessings for you today also!

      Like

  5. It was so sweet to read of your Divine appointment encounter with that dear lady. I can just imagine how that must have felt. I crave to see smiles and long for others to see my smile. Everyone looks so angry with their masks on, and it is impossible to know for sure if they are smiling. But, you and that lady connected, and what a special connection it was. I have a feeling she is still thinking about it, too. SO sorry for your awful ordeals that you are still having to walk through, dear friend. I am praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Oh, thank you so very much for your precious prayers over all of these many months. They mean so much to me. And, yes, I can’t help but wonder if that woman is remembering our encounter also. She reminded me of my Mother too, so that was another precious gift from the Lord. I pray that He would show us ways to share His love and grace in these difficult days. You are a gift of grace, dear friend! Blessings and prayers for you too.

      Like

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