Last weekend, I had the opportunity to be in Houston at the “LIT” conference hosted by Beth Moore. The whole weekend I felt like I was drinking from a fire hose trying to absorb the wisdom in that room. In fact, all week I have been processing, getting my mind around the magnitude of it.
And something that keeps circling in my head was a phrase Christy Nockels, our worship leader that day, used. She talked about a Greek form of the word “praise” which is “ainós” pronounced “ah-ee-nos”
According to STRONG’S concordance
ainós; story, a tale, narration, it came to denote detailed praise in the New Testament; only of praise of God.
Specifically, we see this form of the word used in Luke, chapter 18, when a blind man approaches Jesus and asks Jesus to return his sight:
“Immediately, he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying and praising and honoring God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.” Luke 18:43, KJV
Out of the supernatural healing came his story of praise. That seems so full to me, so robust and rich in relationship.
I mean it’s one thing to praise God for parting the Red Sea, because come on now…that’s AMAZING! It’s a very different, far more intimate song of praise when He parts your Red Sea. Both have their place, God deserves praise because He is God. But He also chooses relationship with us, He chooses to journey with us and grow us and maintain that He is a God who wants intimate relationship with us so that we may taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)
The words from the old hymn, Blessed Assurance comes to mind:
“This is MY story
This is MY song,
praising my Savior, all the day long”
Can’t you just feel that praise welling up in you? That specific mountain He moved for you? That specific war He won for you? Those streams in the desert He made just for you?
Or maybe right now you are standing facing a mountain. You’ve heard stories of “the faith of a mustard seed” and you’ve praised Him from afar, but you’ve never experienced your own story of praise. I want to invite you to have the courage to ask him to give you ainós –A story of praise that is all your own.
I remember struggling for that boldness in my faith. I would ask my mentor to pray for me on specific issues because in the back of my head I believed she was “more spiritual” and God would answer her prayers over mine.
I am so grateful that we serve a God who pursues us, who desires to be in deep relationship with us and waits on us to step out in courage.
I’m recalling a time when I took that leap. A few years ago, I was in need of a place to live. I was in a very delicate situation because I was going through a traumatic divorce, I was financially strained to say the least, and I had to be out of the place I was living by the end of the week. 4 days to be exact. I remember driving to an audition and thinking, “I have no idea where I’m going to go or how I’m going to afford it, but God you do. So thank you.”
I kid you not, 45 minutes later, I got a call from a couple that I had worked with on a film two years prior. They were looking for someone to house sit for at least 6 weeks, possibly longer.
“We aren’t sure what your living situation is, but you just popped into my head and we thought it might be a good fit for you to live here?”
My mouth hit the floor. I wanted to just shout out to the Lord, YOU ARE AMAZING! Instead, I managed to somehow keep my cool:
“Actually, that sounds like a perfect fit.”
And it was.
The Lord always provides, it may not be in our timing, or our planning, or the Way in which we think it should go…..but He always provides. It aches me to think that for so long I was settling for a mediocre lifestyle because I was simply too afraid to ask.
James 4:2b says, “You do not have, because you do not ask!”
See the thing of it is, Jesus is a gentlemen. In the same passage in Luke, right before the blind man receives his sight, Jesus asks the man:
“What do you want Me to do for you?”
Isn’t that fascinating? It’s not like Jesus doesn’t know the man is blind. Beyond the fact that Jesus is God, I’m sure that it was pretty obvious the man couldn’t see, and yet, Jesus doesn’t just run over to the man and heal him. Instead, He asks the man what it is he wants. Sorry, but I gotta pause for a second and back up because this is just too good.
So before Jesus asked him what he wanted, the blind man says “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Two things are significant here:
- This man knows Jesus is the son of God.
- This man is a beggar, so the “have mercy on me” part doesn’t mean “heal my sight” as much as it does “Jesus, will you throw me some scraps of bread?”
You tracking with me here? Jesus acknowledges that the man needs way more than scraps,
“What is it you WANT?”
And in that moment, the blind man’s faith shifts. It goes from putting Jesus in a box (uh hmmm) to asking God for what only HE can do!
Please don’t misunderstand me here. I am not at all implying God is some sort of genie and the magic word is, “Ask”
What I am bold enough to come to you with today is this: Jesus is modeling a beautiful picture of a heavenly father who says “lay your deepest needs before me because I am capable of handling it all and then some!”
And when He does, it will be your story of praise….
….and no one can take that from you.
Don’t you just love it?!!
Sooo, I only have a few blogs, but I’d love to do something different on this one. I’d love to hear about your ainós. Your praise that flows directly out of your personal encounters with God. I’d also love to join you in prayer for the things you long to look back on with “ainós.” There is a comment section on my blog as well as a contact button to where you can email both of those if you should choose.
I want to leave you with this:
“There is none like God, Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in His majesty.” Deuteronomy 33:26 ESV
With love and ainós