Monday, January 25, 2010

Everything That Has Breath

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this verse - “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” Psalm 150:6. Now, I’m pretty clear on what this means on the practical level. All things living ought to be praising the Lord. And for my part, I mostly understand what that means. All of my life should be lived in worship and praise to the God who created me. When I work, when I sit around, what I do, what I read - everything should be done with the focus of bringing glory to God. I get that. Do I do it always? No. But I get it.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about. Lydia has breath. Exactly how is it that she can praise the Lord?

Since before she was born, when we were told by doctors that her brain possibly had a slight defect that could mean nothing or could be problematic for her, we said with confidence, that it didn’t matter what she was like. That God had formed her and knew her before the beginning of time. No matter what, she was exactly what He wanted her to be.

Then she was born, so obviously broken. I know sometimes it’s the tendency of people to say that she is the way she is because we live in a fallen world, and I know that to an extent that’s true. But I cannot attribute her condition to the evil that’s in the world. God knew before the beginning of time who this girl would be. He formed her in my body to be exactly who she is. I have no doubt about that. Seizures, difficulty breathing, broken brain, broken liver - He knew her before she was born.

So, if He created her to be this way, how is it that she can praise the Lord?

I know that to some extent, her ability to praise the Lord comes in how much Micah and I choose to praise the Lord for her. She can’t speak, so the verbal part of praising the Lord has to be done by us. Not really sure why some people get to praise the Lord for more than just themselves, but (most days) I count in an honor to praise Him on her behalf.

But for her - in what ways can she praise the Lord? Could it be that every breath she struggles to take, every time she puts forth effort to move her arms, head or legs, that she is praising the Lord? Could it be that every time her body that He created has a seizure that she is praising the Lord? Could it be that every time that body stops breathing that she is praising the Lord? And could it be that when she takes her final breath on the day that He has already chosen to gather her in His arms - could that be how she is praising Him?

I don’t know. Maybe this is all theologically incorrect, but it kind of makes me feel differently about her suffering. Of course it’s still awful to watch her suffer He’s asked her to praise Him with her body, broken though it may be, how can I help but praise Him with my heart, broken though it may be?

11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."
Revelation 4: 11


  1. I love to see what God's teaching you. And I'm thankful that you can share it. You have enabled all of us to praise God on Lydia's behalf as well because you have been able to show us how good God is despite her circumstance.

    Love you!

  2. This reminds me so much of Thad's sermon on Sunday...about how it is possible for a loving God to let such terrible things happen in the world. One of the things he said was that some of these things so that we can see the work of the Lord. The fact that so many people love this little girl (and her parents!) and constantly pray for her, the lessons that we have all learned from her, and from you and Micah, truly are the work of the Lord here on Earth.

  3. I think what you wrote is the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. I now believe that you and your family was sent by God to Bless us all!