Ominous Clouds

A Thousand Hallelujah’s

Only a Thousand?

A thousand Hallelujah’s? Umm…yeah, right. Normally, I get it — worship is really a great idea. But today? Today, I couldn’t sing even one hallelujah. Heavy sighs just kept escaping from my weary, worn-out soul. Pain has a way of doing that.

Things have been rough, lately. And now, on top of everything else, another surgery.

I hate these crutches. I hate the clutter, and I hate this upper-floor-duplex-living-in-a-swamp-no-auditory-privacy-schlock.

Sick of pain, empty inside from a weird avoidance of meaningful connection with the Lord, at last I return to the Word. I have just a few minutes before we go to a quick check-up at the doctors.

I open up my Bible to wherever it happens to turn, and its — Psalm 91… OH.


This one is a toughie to swallow this morning. Yeah, I know it’s a good scripture— I even painted a motto of this bit, and hung it up in my home. Daily reminder, on the wall, that sort of thing.

Here is the passage:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; To declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, And Thy faithfulness by night.

Psalm 91:1-2

But today, my plate is full. I didn’t really want to be reminded that it is a good thing to praise Him. I was just really not feeling it. I reluctantly read the verses anyway. But they wouldn’t go in deep. Not today.

Today the verses just looked like a tall order that I couldn’t fill. Not the way I was feeling. Not with this pain! And yet…

It is a good thing all the time, not just when it feels easy.

Not wanting to choose a grumbly spirit, I decided to go ahead and give the idea a meager effort. But, I only had a minute. So I read the verses a few times. I tried to be thankful. Really.

Those Verses

The verses stayed in my head. I pondered them as husband drove me to appointment; I rolled them around in my head, again in the waiting room.

What is going on inside of me? Why can’t I really praise Him?

My eyes are downcast; I’m lost in thought. Lost thoughts. Thinking about what I’ve lost. Poor me.

Today my thankful spirit has up and vanished. I can’t give thanks. I’m not thankful. I can’t declare His lovingkindness, not today, my weak flesh whines.

Or, can I! I must give it more effort! I know better than to stay stuck in self-pity mode.

So there, in the waiting room, I give it another try—sort of.

A Start

I offer to Him some half-hearted logical assent as to how things could be worse. I started with that kind of “thankfulness”. After all, I muse, this living arrangement has some positive aspects. It could be worse. But I hate that we had to move. I miss the houses we’ve lived in. The privacy. The space.

I try hard to be glad that my sister is in heaven; she’s better off there, than here. But gosh, I miss her! I hate that my sister had to die. I miss the friendship that was ours.

I miss her voice, the way she’d answer the phone when she heard my voice. I’d hear the relief in her voice, the comfort that I somehow gave her. I felt the love.

You Choose

OK, rouse yourself. Back to the present. In this waiting room, I realize something new.

Or, new again.

Yes, I’ve been here before. This is familiar territory. I know that I’ve got to wrestle this out.

After all, staying stuck is a choice, as is rising above.

This grumbly spirit needs a work-over. As soon as I get home, my Father and I need some time…

That Critical Voice

Do you ever feel that weight pressing down upon you, the one with the voice? “You are so selfish. You are obsessed with poor, sad, pitiful you. You are so ungrateful. Why can’t you sing His praises? Hasn’t He done enough for you? Does everything need to go your way in order to sing with joyful abandon to your Maker?”

And on it goes, if you let it. But I don’t have to let it. You don’t either.

I am learning to listen to that critical part in me, just long enough to let it help. Because sometimes it is helpful. Sometimes I do need a reality check. I do need to take this grumpy attitude to Him. But allow the critical voice to heap on condemnation? No, indeed!

I go home. I confess to the Father my grumbling spirit. I admit it: I haven’t been coming to Him lately for fellowship. I’ve just been looking to Him for the quick fix. Seeking the gift, instead of the Giver.

The Hard Truth

Like I use the pain meds for the bones, I’ve been looking not so much for the connection, as for the help.

“Help! Heal me up quick! I don’t like suffering! Help me not miss my sister so much. Help me get through this! It’s hard to live here! I don’t like suffering! Help!

You get it.

He gets it, too. He loves me, sees my pain, and cares for the girl with the wounds. That’s why He bothers to teach her about worship. About speaking truth. About transformational worship.

So let’s look at this beautiful psalm again, shall we?

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,

And to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High;

To declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning,

And Thy faithfulness by night.

Psalm 91:1-2

Lovingkindness. Have you ever tried typing the word: “lovingkindness” into your computer? It comes up with a red line under it. The built-in spell checker knows better; that word is not in the dictionary. It’s a made-up word.


This word is full of meaning. Let’s take a quick look at the word, just a bit deeper…

A translator was trying his hardest to get the right idea that’s in the Hebrew word found in the psalm, the word hesed. In the original Hebrew, it means so very much; this was the best he could do to convey the incredibly tender, unconditional, all-encompassing, unwaveringly loyal love of God for his people. (Thanks to Ann Voskamp explaining this so well in her book Waymaker. For more about hesed, (and lots of other valuable insight) give it read!

Psalm 91

How wonderful of God to give us this directive; to teach us in just these few words that it is good to book-end our days with worship.

It is so good to give thanks to the Lord. (And I don’t mean my meager “it could be worse”). He is so worthy of our real, heartfelt thanks.

It is good to sing praises to Him, by declaring in the morning — making a declaration, for every part of your soul to hear, in the morning, straight out loud — all about His gorgeous, hesed, Father love.

It is so good to worship Him again, at night, declaring over and over how faithful He was, how good He has been, how worthy of our ongoing trust is this loving, good God of ours.


Our God is generous. He gives over and over and over again, repeating in His book how good it is to take our eyes off of ourselves, and immerse ourselves instead into the loving Person of Christ. In His presence there really is fullness of joy.

Our souls cry out hallelujah after hallelujah, and we are changed. Transformed. Brought in, nearer and near to the loving heart of God.

That psalm was a pretty incredible gift, that He gave me this morning, don’t you think? Sending me those two verses, on a hard day like this? But that’s just like Him, all over.

He gives it to you, and to your loved ones, and to His whole world that He made and loves. He gives us what we need for our well-being.

Stay close. Remember Who I am. Remember what I’ve done. It is good.

IT Is SO Good!

It is good morning and night, and it is good in grief times and in easy times. It is indeed, so very good.

He loves us so very much, my friend. He loves us enough to remind us continually, every morning and night, to remember Him. To remember Him, with gratitude, trust, and love.

Today’s addition to our practice of praise is brought to us courtesy of:

This YouTube channel “LANDON’S LYRIC VIDEOS” (LLV).

This beautiful piece was written and sung by Brooke Ligertwood.

A Thousand Hallelujahs (Live) by Brooke Ligertwood [Lyric Video]

Get your worship on, and click over to the playlist, for more!