“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again- my Savior and my God!
Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You- even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan, from the land of Mount Mizar.”
- Psalm 42:6,7
It’s raining outside tonight. As a matter of fact, it’s been raining most of the day. In our area of the country (South Georgia), that’s a HUGE blessing. Personally, I absolutely love the rain. There’s something soothing in the sound of the drops, falling to the ground, cleansing the air and the mind. I’ve been trying desperately to get to a point where I could make another post. These last two are waaaay too far apart. I press on, however. I know that my Father will make a way for me to be able to learn more about Him and grow our relationship…thereby growing my relationship with my better half (for you, Bella ).
This post, though, almost wasn’t. On my way to work this evening, my mind wasn’t on Him. It wasn’t glorifying Him. It wasn’t praising Him. It wasn’t confiding in Him, nor was it leaning on Him. I was dwelling on the struggles of my daily life. I was engrossed in self to the point that I was almost ready to throw in the towel. I’ve written about this before, but these difficulties can be overwhelming if you let them. There I was…driving down the road in that rain, a reflection of the sorrow in my soul, thinking of how horrible it was that I only saw my two-year-old for five minutes this morning as I was going to bed and she was off to the babysitter and another five minutes as she was coming home and I was leaving for work again. There was sorrow there, too, for the time that I’m missing with my wife and other children. Unbidden tears welled up and rolled down my face as I asked Him to deliver me from myself.
Later on, I was fortunate enough to get to go home and put Emma to sleep. As I drove, I turned the radio up and was listening to a sermon on Freedom Radio. I can’t remember the speaker’s name, but God moved me through him. He was talking about “Footprints”…the story about two sets of prints walking side by side down the beach. At one point, there’s only one set of tracks…when life got a little tough. The man asks Jesus why He left him at such a crucial point. Jesus’ response was, “Do you not know? It was then that I carried you.”
The guy on the radio modified the story a bit, however. He said that there were the two sets of prints as in the first version. Only one set of them was all over the map…backwards, sideways, circles. Then they began to straighten out and eventually became parallel to the first set that never wavered. Finally, they walked in the same print and grew to fit the same. All of a sudden, they broke out of the straight set. They started to follow the same path as when they first started. The man said to Jesus that he felt like he understood to a point: at first, he was a new Christian and tried to go it alone. As he grew in wisdom, he became more Christ-like until he was at one with the Lord. He then asked Jesus what happened. He wondered why the path became irregular again. Jesus smiled and said, “Do you not know? It was then that we danced.”
I immediately felt relief. You hear all the time about praising Him during your storms, but you don’t often hear about how to praise Him. The answer, of course, is with great joy. When you worship God, in times of happiness and sorrow, we should be joyful. We should want to sing and dance…to shout and laugh. He’s God! He gave you life and will never let you fall…regardless of how hard you might try. He is your rock and strong tower. He is omnipresent and omnipotent. Oh what a wonderful and mighty God we serve!!!
The lesson is this: He wants you to be happy, and He wants that happiness to permeate through every fiber of your being. When you smile, it’s contagious. When you laugh, it’s contagious. When you share the greatness of God it reflects right back to you. If you dwell on the negatives of life, that’s contagious too. And I for one don’t want my wife and kids and colleagues and friends to get sick. I want them to experience the same joy that fills my heart and soul.
As I continued to drive, the tears returned. Only this time, they were energized. They were filled with that joy. They were filled with love for my wife and children. They were His.
I leave you with a great praise and worship song called “Waiting Here For You,” by Christy Nockles. Turn your speakers up…be joyful as you worship the King