Do you create playlists for your music? You know, songs put into specific groupings for various things?
For example, I have a playlist for "exercising". This is my go to music that is upbeat, encouraging, and keeps me moving (or that is the intent anyway.) :-)
And then there is my "devotions" playlist that I often use as part of my quiet time.
In the last couple of years, I created another playlist...
I am a music lover. It can move my soul in ways other things can't. So when the time came in my life that I couldn't even bring myself to listen to music, I knew I was in a bad place!
As I continued to press hard into Him in the midst, I kept seeing that praise -even in those most difficult places- is what I was called to. It was to be the obedient thing for my heart to do. I was to offer a "sacrifice of praise".
And so this other playlist came to be.
I titled it "Darkness Praise".
For weeks these were the only songs I could even bring my heart to listen to. Sometimes forcing the listening out of obedience more than anything else.
I would listen just to spur my heart on... sometimes even just to the next minute.
Many times I would listen as tears poured down my face, clinging desperately to the truth contained within. Determining to praise Him and trust Him when everything in my being seemed to scream out against it.
As time passed, I would find myself returning to this playlist as a reminder, an encouragement. A demonstration of what He was and would continue to bring me through.
I would listen, still praising, but now for the way He had and was making Himself known through the truth contained within. Truth I had so desperately fought to cling to claiming it for my own.
Although this play list is a very personal one, over the next weeks leading up to Easter I want to share it with you. Beginning later this week, I will share one song each week until my playlist "Darkness Praise" has been revealed.
As I share and reflect each week with the various songs, it will be a way for me to pause and remember His grace and mercy that has been poured out to me personally.
It will be an opportunity for me to prepare my heart in a unique way as Easter approaches to celebrate His resurrection and the way that He has helped to resurrect hope from some painful and difficult places in my own heart.
My prayer is that it will encourage you to praise, regardless of your circumstances. I also pray that you may find the same hope, encouragement, and truth in some of your potentially darkest places as I found in mine.
And in the finding, may you discover something even greater... HIM!