Posts tagged Praise
In the Arms of Our Father {DWITW 365}

As I sit here writing this, I am in tears. I recently lost a friend I loved just as a sister. She was young, only 31. She had fought cancer three times over the last ten years. I try to remain strong and resilient, putting on a fake face of “normalcy” so that people don’t see how sad I truly am. But today, I am losing that battle. My pastor sent me a text asking me how I was doing, and that was all it took to bring me to tears. She has been gone just over a month now. We met at church, so he had officiated her funeral. He loved her as deeply too, just as so many others. So, I know he is sad as well. But he reminded me of her largest goal in life - to love people and reach souls.

Let me explain a bit about my dear friend, Leslie. She was closer to God than she was to me. She spent her life in prayer, worship, and reading all about who He was. Her entire life was built around ensuring she was living the life He wanted her to live. To know Leslie was to know the love of God. It oozed out of her like lava, melting the hearts of the hardest souls. We told her the day before she passed that we believed she broke Facebook because every single person we knew was posting prayer requests for her. Even people who had never met her were inundated with her Jesus’ aroma because of the number of prayer requests shared for her miracle healing. Her viewing was one of the largest I have ever seen. Even in her passing, God saved souls right in the middle of her funeral. When I grow up, I want to be like Leslie -a beautiful sweet spirit who loved God like He held her in his arms each night and kissed her forehead while whispering “well done, precious daughter, well done.”

We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
-Psalm 48:9

Now I know we are to get our direction from God. I believe wholeheartedly in His love and wisdom for us. But we can also learn from the people God places in our path. This happened in Scripture too! For instance, in 2 Chronicles 29, King Hezekiah purifies the priests in order to hold Passover. He knew it was necessary to obey God’s commands to present a pure sacrifice. After having been away from God under the rule of King Ahaz, Hezekiah was trying to work toward bringing the people back to holy reunion with the God who loved them. And the result was that his obedience changed the course of history for generations to come!

Further in this week’s reading, we see the writers of Psalm 48 discuss God’s unfailing love. In verse 3, they remind us of God’s strength as he defends Mount Zion. This reminds me of how I, foolishly, allow my fears to guide my sails at times. This is unnecessary on my end, and it only causes me headache and heartache. But if I were I to trust God, allow for His defense of my life, and therefore not steer away from His plan for me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would be protected.

Later in the Psalm, in verses 9-13 specifically, the Sons of Korah remind us to praise God for the unfailing love that offers us shelter. In song, they command us to walk through life declaring God’s goodness during the trials that will come. In this, I am instantly reminded of Leslie and her ability to praise God during the worst moments of her cancer trial. She never allowed the cancer to beat her; instead she proclaimed that she was a winner either way. She knew that she would either dance in earthly streets singing the praises of a miraculous healing, or that she would dance in the streets of Heaven with her earthly father and her Heavenly Father.

And in His goodness, He is creating a community of people to lead all of us to hearts that look more like His.

Life is a precious balance of ups and downs. We are always experiencing moments of love, joy, grief, despair... and countless other emotions. However, we are fortunate that in Christ, God protects, defends, loves and holds us in His powerful hands. Because of this truth, we can rest easy knowing He fills our lives with people to help guide us; and sometimes we are the guide for others along the journey. And in His goodness, He is creating a community of people to lead all of us to hearts that look more like His. Our God loves us so deeply, and He has woven a fine web of silk attaching our hearts to others’ hearts within His glorious Kingdom.

So, for me, at this moment, that is a truly bittersweet thought. I am still grieving the loss of one of my dearest friends; yet I can see her smiling face, as she sings and dances with our Heavenly Father. And I know she is not sad for one second. She is exactly where she was created to be - in the arms of her Father.


Sonya Gentry wants to live in a world where being kind and loving means that when we encounter a need or brokenness, we say yes first and think about it second. This would be a world where walking with Jesus means trying to act like Jesus through loving, relevant acts of service; where Christians put their hands and feet in the dirty situations of the world in order to show people God’s love and grace; where we understand that comfort zones are meant to be broken because people need us to show up and be be the best portrayal of God’s love we can be. When she's not working, you can find her being silly with friends and family, playing games with her nephews, volunteering for various organizations and events with her church, or relaxing with a movie.

Her favorite Scripture is John 15:16-17: “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you, so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name [as My representative] He may give to you. This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another” (AMP).

Days Like Grass {DWITW 365}

Sleep has been an elusive companion as of late. My mind thrums with growing to-do lists and worries of if I am trying hard enough or accomplishing enough, fearful something will be forgotten over the course of the night. It turns out that amid the worry and fear, I have indeed forgotten much. I have forgotten who God is and, subsequently, who I am. It is in the midst of my forgetfulness that I have been both confronted and comforted by the words of David found in Psalm 103.


The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

‭‭- Psalms‬ ‭103:8-13‬

In the face of God’s steadfast and unwavering love, I realized I have been longing for control rather than the peace of His presence and trying to rest in assurances I can hold in my hands rather than those I can hold in my heart. I am putting my fear and attention in the wrong place. I have foolishly been fixating on what-if’s rather than what is. What is, is the Lord. Though circumstances have changed, God has not. He is the same loving and fierce and gracious and holy Creator that He has always been and always will be.

In our readings for DWITW 365, Psalm 103 falls between the death of Saul and the anointing of David as king over all of Israel. David exhorts his soul to praise the Lord for His merciful forgiveness, His unrelenting love, and His ultimate kingship over all creation. In a time when David’s thoughts could have been consumed by the struggle around him or the prospect of resolution, he turns his focus to the everlasting — to the God that sustains him, to the God that made him, to the God that loves him.

God has declared a forever love for temporary people

In verses 15 and 16 David reminds us of our temporal nature, “as for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.”  It is this innate transience of humanity juxtaposed to the eternal nature of God’s affection that coaxed my mind upward. God has declared a forever love for temporary people. God’s love for us has existed and will continue to exist beyond the limits of our lifetimes. 

My days are short and measured. They have a number to them, though I do not know what it may be. I can spend these days encumbered by anxious planning and preparation or I can fight to look beyond the ebb and flow of chaos. My surety lies not in where my feet fall but in where my mind and heart are planted. They need to be deeply rooted in the truth and love of God, in the place that cries out, “bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” (Psalm 103:1-2)

As we carry on into the week ahead, I pray that like David we would call to mind the benefits our God has been so gracious to extend, that His goodness would press us to praise, that His peace would quell our hidden fears, and that our hearts would be ignited by the remembrance of His steadfast love.


Robin Zastrow wants to live in a world where coffee never gets cold and kindness abounds. When she's not discovering the wonders of construction paper and cardboard tubes with her two little ones, you can find her sneaking in another few pages of a book or jotting down bits of writing on scraps of paper.

One of her favorite Scriptures is:
“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 ESV