Thursday, May 15, 2008

Praising Him Until the Wind Runs Out of Breath

I live in the South. Those familiar with this region of the United States understand that the old cliché “when it rains it pours,” was first uttered by a Southerner. I cannot prove it, neither can I ascertain if the state of origin was Mississippi, Florida, or South Carolina, but the intuitive gene etched into my DNA assures me that it was first said by someone in one of those states. I’ve driven in downpours in each of the aforementioned regions, so please, trust me on this one.

Last week, I rushed my children to the car as storm clouds pelted dime-sized drops of water on our covered heads. Pumpkindoodle bounced from puddle to puddle, excited to indoctrinate her new Cheetah print rain coat and boots. Pickle squinted closed his blue eyes, crinkled his little nose, and let loose a hearty giggle after one drop landed on his forehead and rolled down his chubby face. My little ones sensed adventure. Their mommy sensed possible danger. However, I was determined not to let a little storm deter us from attending the last MOPS meeting of the year. Besides, I thought, these storms roll in and out quickly.

As I drove closer to our church, the fierceness of the storm increased its intensity. Some sections of the streets morphed into wading pools and lightning bulleted from the grumpy sky. I took a few deep breaths and calmly asked my little girl to hold any questions she had for me until we entered the church. Mommy needed to concentrate. And pray. I turned up the volume on the car stereo. God’s timing was perfect as always. The song in my CD player was Hallelujah from Detour 180. Pumpkindoodle interrupted my silent prayer, “Mommy, this is such a beautiful song, can we play it over and over, and over?” I told her that I thought that was a great idea.

As the band sang words of praise, we sang along. My praise, became my prayer. I praised Him for making the stars above and the water beneath. And as I praised Him, my heart rate slowed down and fear received a good heave-ho. My God was and always is in control. That’s another phrase that has become somewhat of a cliché. Yet at that moment, it was the only thought piercing my mind. Amazingly, as that truth sunk in, so did immense joy. They rain continued to beat down on my car, yet my spirit danced.

Pumpkindoodle and I continued to sing aloud for the next 25 minutes. When the car pulled into the parking lot, I felt relaxed and strangely rejuvenated. And even though the singing was loud, it did not overpower the voice of God. “Angela,” He whispered, “Please remember this. Continue to praise me in the storms of life. Not just with a half-hearted sigh about how I am good and that I will see you through, but with genuine zest. Even if the Professor does not get a new teaching job this year. Even if all four of you end up living with your parents. Even if your already small budget tightens more…praise Me. With all your heart, Praise Me, and then you will truly feel my peace.”

Late that day he said to them, "Let's go across to the other side." They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, "Teacher, is it nothing to you that we're going down?" Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith at all?" They were in absolute awe, staggered. "Who is this, anyway?" they asked. "Wind and sea at his beck and call!"

Mark 35-41 (The Message)

Here are the lyrics to the beautiful song that inspired my heart to sing praises during a literal storm and a song I will sing in the face of storms of the metaphorical persuasion.

Hallelujah – Detour 180

Who made the stars, for the evening? Who made the sun, for the dawn? The mountains above The valleys beneath Sing your praise The heavens above The waters beneath Sing your praise

Hallelujah

Lord of mercy You can hear me Singing sovereign I adore thee

Click HERE to hear the song in its entirety.

words - matthew w.j. chapman and jonathan scarlet © 2002 parachute musicmusic - matthew w.j. chapman © 2002 parachute music





38 comments:

Rebekah said...

I've never heard that song before but I like it. Clicking on your link took me on a little side journey listening to different Detour 180 songs. They're good

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, wow, and here I was today writing about one of the storms of my life and how God spoke to me. Perfect timing!!!!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Loved this! Somehow the idea of praising despite trials, in the midst of storms always gets to me. Because God always gives us the choice. It's a hard choice to sing his praise in the midst of tears, but blessing ALWAYS follows.

And love Kirk Franklin's "Blessing in the Storm"...

Joanne

Lisa writes... said...

What a beautiful reminder that God is indeed our shelter in the storm--whom shall I fear?

TerriRainer said...

While reading this post, I just kept hearing a phrase that has taken me through many storms in my own life. "God will only give you what you can handle."

Sometimes you start to question his wisdom about just how much you can handle, but believe me when I say it is the absolute truth!

:) Terri

Stephanie said...

What a great post. Really made me think. I enjoyed it very much! Pretty song :)

Julie said...

What a beautiful song.

What a beautiful post.... I love how you turned your gaze towards Him. That's what it's all about. I often ask Him to keep my gaze fixed on Him and that when I turn away to please come and take my face in His hands and turn me back towards Him.

I have been in similar circumstances of "job transition". My husband had 6 jobs in 4 years. We have 5 children as you know. All 6 of the jobs paid him several thousand less than our BASIC living expenses....and we paid every bill. Don't ask me how, cause the I can't explain the supernatural....
I can just say.... "We didn't have enough money to pay all out bills, BUT GOD.....

He's got you...He's got everything.....

I've seen His hand.
Hugs,
Julie

Lisa @ Take90West said...

I have never heard that song, I will check out the link. I absolutley love Monk and Neagle and they have a couple of songs that I play over and over again and I feel so happy and so grateful when I am singing along.
It's amazing how music can change your whole outlook!

Tammy said...

Oh, how this post truly blessed me...what a beautiful illustration.

Sometimes there are even inward storms, but Christ is the Lord of everything and calm even those...

Blessings!
~Tammy

i'm kelly said...

your post gave me chills & goosebumps. thanks for this!

Irritable Mother said...

Praise changes us, doesn't it?
The situation may remain the same, but we are changed. And that's really what matters.
There is something very powerful in taking our eyes off our situation and fixing them on Jesus.
Good thoughts!

Elizabeth...mommy...etc said...

out of the mouths of babes...and we learn so much.

Wendi said...

I needed to read this today as I face some storms of my own. Thank you for allwoing God to speak through your writing.

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

Beautiful post!☺

Tonya said...

Yes, it's ALWAYS a blessing to PRAISE HIM in the storms of life. (Reminds me of the song by Casting Crowns) Our GOD is HUGE and no matter how afraid or how badly we're hurting, HE can ALWAYS be TRUSTED. Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

"Praise Him even in the storms of life"

Oh how easy I can forget this.

Ivy Vega from www.ivysmind.com said...

I need to confess that so many times I do not praise, but ask the whys? But when I ask the why I do it trying to understand with my human mind, what I already know to be true in my heart. That thru thick and thin, God is with us. Holding us, carrying us, or comforting us. His loves is the most wonderful gift we have in Him. So yes we must praise, even when our heart or mind tells us otherwise.

luvmy4sons said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Let all the earth praise Him! Amen!

Natalie said...

I have not heard that song before. I am going to take a minute to listen to it.

We had a great trip. Beautiful area! We actually drove through Harrisburg. I hope I depicted the culture with respect and dignity through my post. Being from that area you probably know much more about the land and people.

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh my goodness did I ever need to read this today. Praise Him in the storms of life...thank you so much for sharing what He told you that day in the car.
Blessings,
Lelia
Your blog is beautiful!

the160acrewoods said...

beautiful song, I've never heard it before either!

God bless!

Marina said...

we need to remember God is always in control even when we are not it so easy to forget he is in control of everything in our life. He even number the hair on our head.
I found you through shondas blog.
blessing,marina

Beloved MaMa said...

I love those lyrics. They remind me of a passage in Job :o)

Gretchen said...

And that, my friend, is beautiful faith. May He bless and keep your family. May His face shine upon you and may He be gracious to you always. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wifey said...

Another great post! You always leave me inspired and thankful - and for that I thank you! Smiles!

Natalie Witcher said...

He IS good, isn't he...

Ruthie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's always nice to meet new friends. As I read some of your older posts, I have been thinking the same thing - that you have friends that you've never met in person, but they become good "blogger friends". And it is so neat. Stop by again. I enjoyed your posts.
Smiles.

Laski said...

"And as I praised Him, my heart rate slowed down and fear received a good heave-ho."

Isn't it amazing how HE works???

Lovely post!

Dakota's Mom said...

I'm so glad Karen H helped me find your blog! I love it when I find others who say what I feel and think! I look forward to reading more.

Katie said...

loved this post. thanks for sharing... I'll have to check out that song!

livin with me said...

Sometimes it's hard to remember to praise Him in the hard times, isn't it?

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

What a realistic picture/example of praising God in the storms of life. So cool how God speaks to us through music. :)
Thanks for sharing.

amy said...

As I write, the rain is falling here in GA. Thank you for this post. We can always and should take time to praise Him.

mer said...

Beautiful song, and beautiful post. It was, in fact, very timely for me to read this today.

Thanks for your sweet comment last night, and for the encouragement. I appreciated you mentioning your counselor, and how that helped get to the root of your issue. I've also done some counseling, and I kinda/sorta had an idea of what the heart of my issue was yesterday. It helped to get alone last night with the Lord and just give it all over to Him--my shelter in the storm!

Laura said...

What a beautiful song! YOur story of praise gave me goose bumps. Don't you just love worship in the car?
:)Laura

Beloved MaMa said...

I am praying for your grandfather and forwarded your request on to other praying ladies... I pray for peace over the entire family during this difficult time

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

As we sit through the storms of life... figuratively or in reality... His presence through the Words remind us of a Promise given over 2000 years ago.

That is the hope we hold onto ...

that is the dream held close to our hearts when we close our eyes each night as the storms threaten us through the terriorizing moments of flashs of bolts of lighting as they crack out of the sky.

His song,, soothes the soul...

reminds us of His peace...

Peace Be Still...

Jesus...

GrandCanyonMom said...

Should have commented on this last week. What a fabulous way to look at things. So much insight!

Thank you,
Jaime

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