When praising God doesn’t come easy

November 21, 2011 | My Jottings

Have you ever had a cyclamen plant? I love them. This one with white flowers sits on our kitchen table. Look at the delicate “Christmas tree” pattern in the leaves.

See how the buds are tightly twisted in spirals before they burst out in full bloom? (You can click to enlarge these photos if you like.)

Cyclamen blooms have always reminded me of praising God in difficult circumstances, what the Bible calls the sacrifice of praise. (see Hebrews 13:15)

To me, they look like beautiful old women who are bent over and cannot stand tall. You might say that cyclamens have a congenital defect that prevents them from ever standing upright.

Their flower faces must always bend down toward the ground. Cyclamens can’t be like other flowers, the kinds whose faces turn upward seeking the sun’s warmth and light.


But even though the cyclamen faces must be forever bent down, their upswept petals reach back and up toward the heavens, in their own silent and magnificent praise.

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands. 

Psalm 63:3-4

Do you have any difficult circumstances in your life right now, the kind that seem to turn your face to the ground in sorrow or great concern? Everyone has something or someone that needs the touch of God.

Today I’m thinking of these exquisite cyclamens, who seem to offer up the sacrifice of praise to their Maker. I want to be like them.

Crunchy knees….that still walk.
Cold, gray weather….that makes the furnace a lavish gift.
Confused husband….who knows, hugs, and loves me still.
Crazy, bothersome Schnauzers….who teach us vigilance and devotion.
Comfort of the Holy Spirit….when the future looks uncertain.

Can you offer God the sacrifice of praise today? Would you be willing to share it with me?


  1. Larry says:

    Praising God is a form of reoccupation for me, it is continually on going. It is not that I do not want to praise Him, but rather I have to continually remind myself that I am to be as David, in my excitement, in my sincerity, in my desire for Him. I have had some times in my life that I was close to death, and in my praising of Him, all worries left me, He lights up my life, He guides my life, He is worthy of so much more that what I can seem to give. I have never been or desired to be a contemporary witnesses, I just want to always attest to His being the GREAT I AM. When I seek only His face, I do not want to look for my face, I do not desire anything else but Him. It took me a while to finally feel that way, but now that I do, I have such peace that I could never describe 🙂

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you so much, Lar. Love you….

  3. Ember says:

    From the rising of the sun unto its setting, may God’s holy Name be praised; and in the hours of darkness when earth lies sleeping, may the stars sing for joy at the wonder of His love. xxx

  4. Just Julie says:

    Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen……

  5. Dorothy Sooter says:

    November is a difficult month for me. Praising God, reading his Word
    and praying without ceasing keeps me going. It took me 77 years to
    realize that as humans here on this earth, we are going to have
    trials, happiness and difficulties. Most important, God, our Heavenly
    Father, promised us Eternity with Him. No more tears. All the pain,
    heartache, loneliness will be over. The cyclamen plant is beautiful,
    thank you Julie for you very wise words.

  6. Just Julie says:

    I have been thinking of you, Dorothy…knowing November would bring back memories full of heartache. You are a beacon in the midst of your sadness, though. Lots of love to you….

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