Praising God in the Midst of the Storm
This week has been one of those never want to repeat weeks. It started off with Monday, when a young Illinois State Trooper was killed in the line of duty - hit by a tractor trailer while standing next to a minivan he'd pulled over. I didn't personally know him, but he had attended a cop Bible study a couple of times with a group that my husband and I minister to.
Tuesday, Rick and I figured out we were having crazy financial issues after some unexpected happenings (car repairs and dental expense).
Wednesday my elderly aunt fell (again) and an uncle was having more health complications related to dementia.
Thursday I found out that two people who I deeply care about are having marital troubles, and another police friend was involved in a shooting, leaving him with a severely injured arm.
Today, my elderly uncle was put in the ICU to face his final moments, and I was told my nephew was involved in an accident causing a collapsed lung and a couple of broken ribs. Sigh.
So. What do you do in the midst of a week such as this? Well, I'll tell you. After crying for two days straight, I picked myself up off the floor and all day today, have been praising the Lord. What?! Yes, you heard me. I've been singing praises to my God and King.
The Bible tells us of a man named Job who experienced a period within a matter of hours where he lost everything precious to him (his livestock, his servants, his children and his health). What was this man's response? Chapter 1, verses 20-22 say, "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.' In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."
Can you say, "Wow!"? What we have to remember is that God is in control, and "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." Job 13:15.
I can complain and whine and spread misery about, but what I fail to see is that even though things may seem difficult and pain-filled at the time, God is working all things together for my good. Take for instance...
- Through the young Trooper's death, will others come to know Christ because of the message heard during the funeral service? My prayer is Yes! God can take tragedy and use them for His glory. Though we cannot understand it, and don't want to experience it, times like these open our hearts and minds to the eternal.
- During our financial struggles, is it teaching us to be totally reliant upon Him? Yes! Our faith has been severely tested, but it is stronger now than ever before.
- Through the pain of aging relatives and death's shadow, do I have a greater sense of urgency and purpose? Yes! None of us are promised another day. We need to make the most of all we've been given in this moment. It drives me on to live a richer, Christ-filled life.
- In the face of suffering through accidents and heartbreak am I tender to others needs, and am I given a greater sense of compassion and love? Yes! People are hurting all around me. I need to step up and do what I can for my fellow man.
Friends, I pray that when trials come to your own life, you will have the courage to look up and praise God in the midst of the storm. No trial is ever wasted!