“From the rising of the sun to its going down, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3
Our dog, Max, and I went out for a walk! It was still pretty hot and muggy from the long monsoon summer day. “I just wish it would rain and bring us a little relief from this heat,” I thought to myself as Max and I walked down the driveway and started out for a good night’s walk. Then it happened.
I looked up into the sky ahead as the sun was setting for the evening and this picture is what I saw. I stood there, with Max at my side, staring breathlessly at the beautiful sight before me. I took in its awesomeness. “Wow God, this is amazing!” And in that instant, God brought the verse Psalm 113:3 to my mind. I said it over a couple of times to myself. I couldn’t help it – but in that very moment I just wanted to burst forth in praise to God. Max and I sat down on the sidewalk. Yep, right there in the middle of the sidewalk. I didn’t care what the neighbors thought. After all, God had just given us front row seats to the sunset of the evening. I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity. For the longest time, we sat in silence, both of us watching God’s handiwork before us. And then, I began to praise!
Bazillion different items of praise to God came to my mind – – who God is, what He had done for me that day, all the different things I enjoy thanks to God’s provision, for all the health and strength given to me from God, for my home and luxuries in it to enjoy, for food on my table along with the cupboards and fridge loaded with more, for family and friends and new people that I meet every day . . . and on and on my list of praise went as Max and I sat there, in silence, on the sidewalk. Each phase of that sunset, gave me another reason to praise God. Not only is God’s handiwork awesome. He is awesome! And as the psalmist reminds me, His name is worthy to be praised!!
When was the last time you paused from your busyness to simply sit down and enjoy a sunset? When was the last time you burst forth in praise because you simply couldn’t help it? God gives us opportunities to do that every day. Do we take the opportunity laid out before us?
But then I thought about what my praise is worth to God? God gives me the opportunity to praise Him. I choose to take that opportunity and begin to praise. Something begins to happen within me. (1) I am silent before my God (that’s such a good place to be!); (2) Words of praise rise up within my heart and begin to come out of my lips; (3) There’s a sense of peace that surrounds me as my own heart and spirit take flight; (4) In that moment, God allows me to see Him as He is and I feel super blessed and peaceful in His presence. God uses that opportunity to change something within me.
But what does that moment do for God? As I sat there, enjoying the front row seat to God’s handiwork, I believe a smile broke out upon His face. After all, His child was taking a moment to spend with Him. Me and God time! What could be better than that! That’s got to make God happy, right? I’m almost certain that God was smiling down on Max and me as we sat there in His presence, on the sidewalk. And in that very moment, something else was happening. As I begin to lift up my words of praise to God’s ears, He was exalted! Praise words exalt our great God! They lift Him higher and higher! And I begin to realize anew that I have one marvelously great and powerful and awesome God!! Something else happens with God as He listens to the praises of His child. He takes great delight in what is being said. “Let them praise His name… Let them sing praises to Him… For the Lord takes pleasure in His people.” (Psalm 149:3-4). I tell you, God is smiling!
“Come on Max,” I finally said as I stood up, tugging on his leash, “its getting dark out here. We’d better go home.” Our walk back to the house was light. My heart was rejoicing. The praise just kept coming. And I realized, once again, through a beautiful evening sunset, just how blessed I am to personally know this great God. Praise the Lord!