I have talked in previous posts about being abused as a young girl and yet I have chosen to praise the Lord anyways. I keep up with a blog about a family praying for their dad who went missing in Africa while on a flying mission, yet as I read their posts they chose to praise and trust God anyways! Why? Why do they choose to praise anyways? I have watched friends battle cancer, some have gone into remission and some have gone to be the heavenly father. Yet, through the pain of both circumstances, I saw both families chose to trust God anyways. When my friends lost their family member to cancer with tears streaming down their face, they praised anyways, knowing God has a plan they cannot see. They chose to trust God anyways. I have watched friends say goodbye to their babies in their arms and I have watched them Praise the Lord anyways. I have watched friends obediently go because God asked them to, yet being given enough instructions in the go to have a general idea of where to go, but no details of why. They get moment by moment directions and yet they go, because God asks them, too. Why do we Praise in the storm? How can we praise and be at peace in the greatest of storms?
Before I get to the why, I want to let you know that in any hard thing God asks a believer to walk through a dying process almost always takes place. When God begins to take me on a journey, sometimes I get very mad at what God has or is going to take from me, I get mad because I fear what I think is a ridiculous thing God will ask me to do. This anger leads to tears as I wrestle with becoming willing. I don’t like what God is asking me to do, I don’t like the pains of saying goodbye, I don’t like having to move over and over, I don’t like watching physical, mental, or emotional pain in other peoples lives. I go through a grieving and dying process, laying down that which is being asked and becoming willing. Sometimes with tears streaming down my face I speak the words, “Lord, because you ask I will do it, whatever you want me to lay down and where ever you want us to go, we will go. With uncertainty and tears, I speak in obedience knowing God is faithful and will follow my body and my heart with my spoken words. There are times when I think, “is it worth it to follow Christ, I think maybe I should just walk away from God and all he asks, being free to do whatever I want”. But, that’s not freedom, that is death and separation from the one true peace, it is worse than physical death! It would be choosing to walk away from God, because he never chooses to walk away from me! I would rather die physically than curse the name of the Lord and walk away from him forever, may it NEVER EVER BE!
Why do we choose to dance in the rain? Why do we choose praise over fear, or anger, or bitterness. Why do we choose God when we could run away from him? Because, we have seen the amazing awesome works he has done in the past, because we have seen him work time and time again, and we have chosen to stand fast in the truth we know about God. We know that while we can’t always see his hand on us, we know that he is working, because we have seen his fingerprints on situations in the past. Because in the past he has proven faithful and we know he will prove faithful again. There is uncertainty in how he will provide and there is often a fear of trusting God, because we know he asks us to do hard things. But, because God asks we choose to walk in obedience, whatever that means, because in the moment we don’t always know what it means.
I know for me personally when I chose to trust and turn the worship music up loud and allow myself to live in an active time of praise I am laying down what I want for whatever it is God wants. I watch in amazement as time and time again I have watched God’s people rise up and choose praise! I have watched believers choose to trust God whether the circumstance made sense to them or not. Choosing to trust the one who knows what is going on, knowing he delights in blessing his children. As for me and my house we will serve and praise the Lord at all times. I am reminded of a favorite song of mine by Ginny Owens called, “If you want me to”.
The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don’t know the reasons why you brought me here.
But just because you love me the way that You do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to.
Cause I’m not who I was when I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials that bring me closer to You
Then I will go through the fire if you want me to.
And it may not be the way I would’ve chosen
When you lead me through a world that’s not my home
But you never said it would be easy
You only said I’d never go alone.
So when the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear you answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering that your love put you through
And I will go through the valley if you want me to.
Watching the body of Christ choose to worship God in the midst of the storm is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed. Our family, too, will choose to praise him in the storm and even if we don’t know why he’s brought us here, we will walk through the fire if he asks us to! Praise him even in the storm! Shalom!