Several years ago, I watched Jeremy Camp (a Christian rock singer) give his testimony. If you don't know his story, Jeremy fell in love with and married a woman who was dying of cancer. I don't remember all the details, but she eventually went home to be with the Lord. What struck me most about Jeremy's story is that he talked about the moment she passed. As he sat next to her bed and her last breath was exhaled, God told Jeremy to lift his hands and praise God in that moment. In his moment of loss and mourning, Jeremy was obedient to what God told him. I always come back to that thought: praising God in moments of darkness or pain. Can I do it? Will I do it? I always wonder if it is possible.
God has been really working on this with me lately. He keeps bringing it up in my life and in my time with Him. Today, I read "Utmost for His Highest" and it too talked about the concept of praising God in the midst of life's storms. I couldn't help but wonder why...why does God call us to this seemingly unnatural response to life's difficulties? Perhaps the answer lies in the question. Perhaps the reason is because it is unnatural, it is not of this world. The world tells us to sulk in our pain. The world tells us we can use our pain as an excuse for any future actions. The world tells us that we don't need to take responsibility for ourselves if we have hurts. But, if we truly know the creator of this universe, we can know that although pain may come, we can be more than conquerors of our earthly troubles...let me say that again, we can be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Do you know how incredible that is to do more than just conquer the obstacles we face?
Life is throwing storms my way right now, devastatingly big ones. But, amazingly for the first time, I feel as though I am learning to praise God during this time. This song by Casting Crowns has been playing in my mind lately and I think it sums up what we are to do in times of hurricanes, lightning, and other "natural" disasters in our lives:
"I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will life my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm"
-Casting Crowns "Praise You in This Storm"
Here's to praising Him in the storms...
Until next time-