For the longest time, I thought the phrase “sacrifice of praise” was an oxymoron. After all, why would giving praise to God ever be considered a sacrifice? When you offer a sacrifice, it costs you something. If it’s easily given, then it’s not a sacrifice at all…it’s simply an offering. So why on earth would we call any sort of praise a sacrifice?
It wasn’t until recently that I truly understood just what that means.
In May of this year I faced two very hard loses in the same week. My husband and I miscarried our first child on Monday May 2nd, and on Thursday the 5th my step-mother took her life. It’s been just shy of five months since that all happened and looking back, I don’t remember being angry with God, but I do remember potently the pain that coursed through my heart. The day we miscarried, I sat on the couch alone just sobbing before I drove myself to my doctor’s office. My husband met me there and held my hand as the technician confirmed my fears. I also remember my husband cradling me while I cried uncontrollably when he told me that Stacy was gone.
I don’t know why, but not long after, I was thinking about this phrase “sacrifice of praise” and in light of all that I was going through, I finally understood. Though I was feeling great sadness and pain, I was still able to give God praise. It wasn’t easy, and at times it felt weird like when you bite into something expecting it to taste sweet and what you get is salty. I like salty…but it just wasn’t what I thought I was going to taste. I think about others and I wonder how they deal with life’s hurts. Do they still offer God praise? Or do they allow anger or despair to take root in their heart? For me, I choose to keep praising my Father in heaven, even when that same pain rises to the surface…which at times it does. I’m not going to lie, even after five months, there are times it all still feels fresh. But I still know that my God is in control and He has a plan. Perhaps, my pain was allowed so that I could draw closer to Him, then again, maybe it’s allowing someone else to draw closer to Him instead. Either way, I will still choose to praise Him even when the storms just keep coming.