LCN Article
Take Time to Praise God

January / February 2023

Justin D. Ridgeway

Recently, driving back from Sabbath services, my daughter and I were struck by the beautiful sunset. A spectacular orange glow was reflecting off the clouds as the sun slipped below the horizon, which was masterfully painted with strokes of blue, purple, pink, and gray. My daughter, curious, asked why God wanted to give us such pretty sunsets, and I said, “He does it because He loves us and He wants us to be happy when we see His creation.” As I answered, I could not help but meditate in praise to God, thanking Him for His love in being attentive to such detail every day for our enjoyment.

But how often do we take time to praise God?

King David was a man in tune with this kind of praise. All through the Psalms, his songs praise a loving Creator who has a great connection with His children. Here’s just one example: “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1–2). David knew God was worthy of praise—even the creation itself, God’s handiwork, praises His wonderful glory (Psalm 19:1). God’s creation is an opportunity for us to be awestruck by His love toward us. It shows us how great He truly is and how small we really are.

When was the last time we took time to give God a “round of applause” for His creation, or were completely awestruck by His handiwork? Do we praise God when we witness the orchestrated dance of lightning across the clouds during a storm, or when we stand on the edge of a seashore or on top of a mountain, or when we marvel at the starry magnitude of the night sky? Parents, did we praise God and find great joy when our children were born? Do we praise Him as we watch them grow? These all help us praise our great and loving Creator.

I find it more difficult, as time presses on, to do this consistently. We live in an age of fast-paced distractions, whether the trials of life, long hours at work, technology, or social networking—either in person or on media. Satan seeks to consume our time, to get even our good priorities out of balance, and to keep us busy and distracted from giving our God due praise. This is a challenge, yet it is a wonderful opportunity for lasting pleasure if we consciously seek time to engage with our Creator and develop a relationship with Him.

Maybe take a lunch break outside for a short picnic. If you live in a city, you might plan to get away from the city for a time to reconnect with God’s handiwork. You can plan to go camping or take a hike, to stand on a mountaintop or a seashore, to sit outside under the stars and get lost in the vast expanse of space, or to just watch some fireflies. If you have children, try to spend time with them in God’s creation and see the natural world through their eyes for a while. Their love of life is contagious and exciting!

These are times when we can be inspired to express great admiration for our Creator. When we see the joy of a child, a whale jumping out of the water, a perfectly painted double rainbow across the sky, a massive and beautifully crafted tree, a majestic mountain, or a beautiful firefly, let us also praise our loving Creator for His job well done. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14).

Take time to praise God!