I have to admit it.
I am prone to rather loud and exuberant expressions of praise. It will sometimes come out like a roar. It can sometimes emit from me like a euphoric cry. This is often backed up with heaps of tears and dramatic body movements.
I am not ashamed of it. It’s a legitimate expression for me in response to something significant. I don’t consider it to be out of control, I am not out of my mind and crazed. It is something that would disturb someone used to more reserved displays. I am still not ashamed though. It doesn’t pop out often because there’s no need.
Recently I had such an outburst and it was a thoroughly cleansing experience, richly rewarding in every aspect because of what took place. So what took place was someone was singing about how marvellous the Lord is. As I was hearing that being sung, I begun to consider again just how truly marvellous He is.
It was a breathtaking contemplation.
It’s the big picture stuff: creation, the Israel narrative, the exodus, the times of God’s rescue, the promise that lasted through the generations, the presence of God even in exile, the birth of the Messiah, the ministry of the Messiah, the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of the Messiah, the outpouring of the Spirit, the spread of the gospel, the durability of the gospel in all manner of circumstances, the promised return of the Messiah and the establishment of the new heavens, new earth, new Jerusalem.
It’s the personal picture stuff: my birth; upbringing; personal encounter with God; university days; the move of faith to Stoke-on-Trent; the church plant; meeting and marrying Authrine; the YMCA days; meeting so many amazing people from Hughie Lawrence, Charles Bury and Lloyd Clarke through Ritson Shields, Reuben Harris and Kevins Williams and Shaw to Rob Simmonite, Danny Flynn, Marvin Johnson, Nathan Mensah, Albert Addai, Andy Kind and Adrian McKenzie; the three brilliant daughters bequeathed to my stewardship and the miracle son already provided; the renaissance and recoveries; the talents and gifts; the divine experiences.
Oh my days, just seeing God in all that was breathtaking and yet the spur to the exuberant praise I mentioned earlier. The greatness of God cannot be denied by me, the reality of His Son Jesus Christ as the centre of my life cannot be disputed seriously, the power of His Spirit to motivate and sustain me in weak times is unmistakeable. Knowing that and this is just a fraction of knowing who God is and the best yet to come is something that is well worthy of my exuberant praise.
Jesus is real and I am so glad I know Him and want to know Him all the more.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden