Day Eleven: Praise Challenge


I learned a life-changing lesson from a homeless man once.  He used to visit a little church I attended in my early years of faith.

One day, the Pastor asked if anyone had a praise report they would like to share, and my friend raised his hand.  He was looking and smelling a little out of sorts that day, like he had been drinking from the wrong well again.  So, naturally, everyone prepared themselves to hear something silly, at best.

But when he was finished sharing, we were stunned.  Even challenged.  From his own pain, he brought wisdom to the room that day, and I have never forgotten it.

That morning, my friend said, he was just sitting down in his usual camping spot, minding his own business.  Suddenly, a very mean and angry man came up and started yelling at him.  I gathered that they were acquaintances, so something must have transpired between them.  My friend uttered a few words back at him, hoping to send him away, but instead the man picked up a rock and threw it at my friend.  It hit him square in the face.  He was still bleeding as he shared his praise report.

You can imagine what we were all wondering at this point.  How is this a praise report?  My friend went on:

“He threw that rock at me, and it hit me right in the face!  (He hung his head and shook it a little.  Then he raised it up again and continued.)  “I looked at him and said (shouting, with his fist in the air), ‘I’m going to church!'”

And there he was.  Worshiping God with his wounds, finding comfort and strength to both forgive and move forward.  He knew what most of us tend to forget: fighting his own battles would lead to nothing good, but running to God in the midst of his battles would lead him to the safe place, the right place.


Today’s challenge is to run straight to God when the rocks of life hit you.  Rather than recoiling in anger or even stopping first to assess the damage and soothe the pain, why not get into the presence of God and let Him do all of that for you?

“From the ends of the earth, I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Don’t be distracted by the smaller rocks in your path.  Run to the highest rock, and there find hope, comfort and healing for your pain and disappointments.  I am already on my way!

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