Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24: A "Little" Praise

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult."
Psalm 46:1-3
In conversation with my mentor one Sunday afternoon, we were discussing the free spirited nature displayed by my two year old daughter Amaris just earlier in the day. We talked about how comfortable Amaris has become with sitting through and enduring the length of Sunday morning worship services. Dr. Harris brought it to my attention that he was amazed at how Amaris appears to be freely enjoying herself in worship now. It was not long ago when we were discussing how she was reluctant to even leave the pew where we sit each week. That's not the case now! This little lady is leaving her mark Sunday after Sunday, and everyone notices it. It's not the little pieces of paper she leaves torn in the sanctuary floor, that causes people to shake their heads. It's not the residue of whatever snack she enjoyed that morning, that makes the custodian cringe when he is cleaning up after us. However, it's the dancing in her feet, the clapping of her little hands, and the shouts of joy, "Amen...Hallelujah," without provocation, that comes out of her mouth whenever she gets "HAPPY!"
While her mother and I are shackled in fear by what our previous situation could have been in the past week, Amaris somehow at two years old, has the ability to see and feel beyond the anxiety that is thick and very much present within us, and still praise God in her own "little" way. Little way, yes! At two she's by far the smallest praiser in the place. Ha! But little praise, of course not! Even though she is the smallest, somehow she makes it a point to be known as the biggest praiser.
How: I believe Amaris sees and hears something bigger than the problem(s) that her mother and I face daily. I don't guess I could really speak for her. But maybe she truly knows that God is her "refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Hmmmmmm! If this is for certain, than yes, she knows that with God there is a safe place. So when she notices something that appears to not sit right with us, through our expressions or verbal tones; because she sees God, she is able to praise big and fill our spaces with joy and laughter. And through it all, she understands that we are there to embrace her with our love, even when, to us, it seems as though the earth is changing and our mountains in life are shaking all around us.
God, give us the courage to look beyond the broken places in our life, and cause us to see you working on something that is bigger than what we face. In your love, Amen!!!
Antonio Redd is the Young Adult President for the National Convocation, and is a member of the Young Adult Commission. He the husband to a lovely wife, Erica, and they are enjoying life with their two year old daughter, Amaris.

Our 2016 prayer vigil theme is Helping Our Children Heal from Violence. For more resources visit and 

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