Today was an amazing day. In fact, the last few days have been pretty awesome. In part, it's because the weather is getting nicer. The first week or so of April was dreadfully rainy and just ugly outside. Granted, we're in a drought down here in the South, so it was very needed, but it still wasn't really nice. I don't do too well in the rain. I don't mind if it's hot or cold, but I need sunshine every now and then to make me feel good. There was no sun for a good straight week, I'd say, and that wore on me. Not to mention I'm still dealing with the break-up between myself and Hitch. I'm really doing fine (much better than most people get when they break up, that's for sure), but it was still weird not having that comfort around. Oh, and I had a literal ton of schoolwork to do. Paper after paper, reading assignment after reading assignment. It really was a lot to take on for a week, and I was so busy I didn't have time for hanging out or working on my own writing projects.
But anyway, the great thing about that kind of stuff is that you know it will end eventually. The assignments, though stressful, were completed on time (well, mostly on time). The rain stopped and the past two days have been absolutely spectacular. Hitch and I went out to dinner last night, just as friends, and it wasn't awkward at all. In fact, I'm confident that I'll remain one of his good friends, though of course only time will tell. I think we'll be better as friends than we were as a couple, simply because our differing beliefs won't be thrown into conflict. I'm genuinely appreciative for his friendship. Also, one of my good friends is coming to my college next year. She came down and I gave her a tour of the campus. Then we hit the beach, and then we went downtown and got ice cream. If that's not a good few days right there, I don't know what is.
It's easy to praise God when things are going well. It's easier to be spiritual when it's nice outside and your homework is done and you have a pleasant weekend to look forward to, free of drama and stress. But now that these wonderful days are here, I feel bad for not having praised God enough when it was miserable outside, when I was stressed out over homework and dealing with a break-up. Yes, I praised Him. I read my Bible and prayed and went to Campus Crusade and church and all that, but my heart didn't sing. Today and yesterday, the days of beauty as I call them, my heart felt like it was just singing Psalm 104 all day long. Constant praise. Constant thanks to God for all that He has given me. I want that more often. I want it even when times are tough (and let's face it, I'm an American college student with a good family, friends, and a warm bed; times are never really tough).
So that's what I aim to do. When things are looking down, I need to praise God for all that I have anyway, because it's a lot more than the vast majority of the people in this world have. Even if I can't find it in my heart to praise Him for that (and I really shouldn't be so spiritually immature), I can at least praise Him for the coming wonders. Rain doesn't last forever. Stress doesn't last forever. Heartache and grief don't last forever. So you praise God for what is to come, for the sunny days and the peace and the companionship of friends and family. Isn't that what praise is all about? Aren't we praising God for allowing us to have that one fine day at the end of everything, when the gloom that was our lives here subsides and we finally get to see the sunny day that is the Kingdom of God? Isn't that why we cry out, "How long?" I guess the same thing can be applied on a smaller scale. The rain stops eventually, but even while it's pouring (in a multitude of ways), we can still praise.