Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: Sacrifice of Praise
By Mishael Witty
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She cursed her rash decision to agree to sing the special music at the sunrise service. It was hard enough just trying to get the kids up for church at the normal time on Sunday. Getting them up at 4:30 a.m. was going to be impossible, and getting herself up early enough to make sure the baskets were ready by the time the kids got up was no easy task, either.
Finally, the baskets were ready. Lisa went to get some eggs to make an omelet, but as she was taking the carton out of the refrigerator, it slipped out of her hand. Cracked shells and yellow ooze littered the floor. Lisa slammed her hand against the freezer door.
“I do not have time for this!” she hissed.
With each swipe of paper towel, Lisa became more frustrated. What was she going to eat for breakfast now? What were the kids going to eat? Did they have any cereal left? Would she be able to pour the cereal and milk in the bowl without spilling it? What time was it, anyway?
She stomped over to the programmable coffee maker and tried to see what time it was. A small rectangular envelope blocked the display. Lisa recognized her husband’s handwriting. He must have put it there before he went to work last night. A simple wooden cross was prominently displayed on the cover of the card. Leave it to Tom to get the plainest card he could find! The verse inside read:
“Remember the blood that was shed for you.
Remember God’s promise for hope that came true.
Remember His power to make all things new.
Praying that everything goes well with the song today. Just keep your focus on Him, and remember that He loved you so much He sent His Son as a sacrifice for your sins. That’s reason enough to sing for joy with all your heart, for the rest of your life. I think it’s wonderful that you’re so willing to serve Him with your talents. I love you. Tom.”
Lisa held the card to her chest, tears filling her eyes. She had been so busy thinking about herself and all she had to do that day; she had not even stopped to consider the reason for the holiday and the inconvenient extra church service. She got down on her knees and prayed for forgiveness.
“God, thank You for giving me the opportunity to sing praises to your name in church this morning. Please forgive me for getting so caught up in myself. It’s not about me. Sing through me this morning, God, and let me be filled with the joy of Your Presence. Thank You for Your Son. I love you. Amen.”
An overwhelming sense of joy flooded Lisa’s heart then, and she sang praises to God as she fixed breakfast and went back upstairs to get the kids out of bed.
At the service, Lisa offered up a sacrifice of praise as she had never done before, all the while remembering Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for her on the cross. On that first Easter morning, when God raised Jesus from the dead, He changed the world forever, bringing in new life, hope, and peace. On that Easter morning when Lisa repented of her selfishness and sang her song for the Lord, He renewed her heart and mind, and gave her a new measure of life, hope, and peace.
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