I feel the word rise to my lips from deep in my belly before I could even think twice. I pause. I say it again.
This time, I trace each syllable carefully with my voice, remembering its roots. I heard it once from a teaching and have never quite said it the same way since.
“Halal”, so often translated to praise.
“Jah”, an abbreviation of Jehovah or Yahweh.
“Praise the Lord” – is this what my soul wants to say?
Yes. No. There, but not quite there yet.
I bring to mind what I’ve learned many, many years ago. I try to remember.
Scripture contains numerous words that equate to modern-day definitions of “praise” and “worship.” Halal in particular means to be foolish, to clamor loudly, to celebrate very blatantly.
This was what David tapped into when he famously (or infamously) danced half-naked as the ark of the Lord entered Jerusalem. We are told that he leapt and danced before the Lord with all his might.
With all his might.
In today’s time, this may be synonymous to fangirls screaming at the top of their lungs during concerts and fanboys cheering and howling as their team gets on the winning side. It represents, in many ways, complete devotion.
Wrapped up in my velveteen blanket as I sat on the couch, I didn’t quite feel like standing up and dancing with all my might. I know that’s not what’s being asked of me. I repeat the word as I tried to reconcile how this was significant to my situation. Under all circumstances, I was doing my best to praise Him nonetheless already.
“Hallelujah – nonetheless.”
Hallelujah – even if it feels foolish.
Hallelujah – with all my might.
Hallelujah — He has my complete devotion, no matter what.
He wasn’t looking for Halal as an outward action from me. He was looking for Halal as an outpouring from my very life.
I know now why I found it difficult to remember. The Lord was teaching me a new thing.
He wasn’t just looking for loud thanksgiving; He wanted to permeate my whole being with the song my soul still cries to sing.
More than my words, my whole existence – a form of hallelujah nonetheless.
My most important thanksgiving.