Words of Hope: At All Times

I have been meditating on the first part of Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” I consider the words, “at all times.” This is a topic Dad and I discussed often. “At all times” means always, continuously, and without interruption. I think of how blessing God gets interrupted typically through feeling angry or afraid, or depressed which is anger and fear on ice. Blessing God can get interrupted by my desire to bless myself or my kids. I divert my eyes from “The Lord” and turn to, “the” kids, or “the” self, “the” ministry, or “the” moment. 

I saw Dad wrestle with this, choosing to continue to bless The Lord even when he got terminal cancer, even in the moments of suffering, sorrow, fear, and loss. These moments take our breath away. Part of my journey was watching Dad’s dedication to breathe in and breathe out reciting, “God is so good, bless His holy name.”  

I think of Father Kolbe in the starvation bunker of Auschwitz, holding dying men, while dying himself and yet continuing to bless the Lord. I consider the Japanese martyrs, hung together on crosses in the pounding surf continuing to sing God’s praises until their bodies were battered to death by the waves. I remember the stories of the glorious saints throughout the ages, continuing to bless the Lord in suffering, in hardship, in persecution, and in difficulty. I think of my dad on his bed of death, radiant and peaceful, his face full of blessing and joy. I remember these things as I ask God for the mercy and grace to bless Him “at all times.” 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thess. 5:18