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  • Writer's pictureBishop Courtney Henry

There is Always a Reason to Give God Praise

“I’ve got so much to thank the Lord for. I’ve got so much to thank the Lord for. When I look around and see what the Lord has done for me, I’ve got so much to thank the Lord for.” So says the songwriter of the old gospel chorus, and I am sure that all of us agree with those sentiments. Yet, it often takes a specific event to remind us to be thankful for something that we ordinarily take for granted. I was given a stark reminder of that recently.

My reminder came on March 15th of this year. I woke up that morning suffering from a bad cold and feeling quite ragged because of the symptoms, as well as not sleeping well the night before. Lady Margaret brought me some cough medicine and tea and, without thinking, I took the medicine on an empty stomach. I immediately started to feel nauseous and made my way to the bathroom.

Praise Is What I Do

I recall feeling a brief bout of dizziness and thought it had passed when I made into the bathroom. I was wrong.

The next thing I remember was Lady Margaret urgently imploring me to stay awake. “Stay with me, Courtney. Don’t close your eyes,” I heard her say several times, which was followed by her asking me if I was in pain. As my head began to clear, I realized that I had passed out and was sprawled out on the bathroom floor. I did not feel injured in any way, but I still felt terrible. My wife was concerned that I had hit my head. Within minutes my father had made it to our house, having responded quickly to Lady Margaret’s call. The two of them rushed me to the emergency room.

The hospital staff put me through a battery of tests and, thank God; there was plenty of good news. There were no broken bones. No cranial or neurological damage. Thank you, Jesus! The only discernible damage from the incident was a sore neck and a bruised left hip. That was it. So, why had I passed out? The emergency room doctor explained that I suffered something called a Vagal Response. The Vagal Response, known medically as Vasovagal syncope, is a trigger response that causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness. In my case, a combination of severe dehydration, fatigue, and nausea brought on the episode.

The only bad news for me was that the doctors indicated that they would admit me to observe me overnight and conduct additional tests. I was disappointed that I could not go home immediately, but the medical team wanted to ensure that there were no underlying issues. As I settled into my hospital bed, I tried to remember the last time I was kept in hospital overnight. I could not think of an occasion. There was good reason for my lack of memory: there was no such occasion to remember. That night was going to be the first night of my adult life that I would have to spend as a patient in the hospital. It took this incident to crystallize that fact in my mind.

How wonderful has God been to me! Come July I will celebrate my 57th birthday. Yet, when I think of all the things that could have befallen me over the years, there was nothing of the type that would necessitate admittance to the hospital. That is nothing but the goodness of God. Even though I was in a place that I did not want to be, there was still ample reason to be thankful to my God.

The moral to the story is that we never run out of things for which to give God praise. Everything may not be going as smoothly as we would like, and challenges may be abundant, so much so that they spring so easily to the mind. However, if we think hard enough, and search our memory, we will find that there is plenty that God has already done for which to give Him glory. The thing I find interesting is, the more you can think of for which God is worthy of praise, the remembrance of them will encourage you in your present struggle. When I remember what He has already done, I am encouraged that He will come through, again.

You may have it heard the saying, that it is easy to find dirt, but you have to dig to find gold. It is easy to find things to complain about. But, if you dig, you will find many good things for which to give God thanks.

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