Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#ChooseJoy #Joygivers365 Week 6-Praising God in the midst of Storms

Thought I'd forgotten?!Nope,  Just a little slow on the blogging today!

I've had a few opportunities to try and #ChooseJoy this past week.

I had a really busy week last week, Friday I woke up with stabbing pains in my ear. Never a good sign. I'd been fighting off getting an ear infection for about a week and a half and I was really worried I would be miserable on Saturday, which was one of the busiest days of the week for me. I had a competition that I was accompanying a student for in the morning and then in the evening I had a concert at a Nursing home. God was gracious to me and allowed me to get thru my saturday without getting sick!

I will admit though when I woke up Sunday morning for church and couldn't breathe and felt awful, my first thought was AWWW MAN! You've got to be kidding me! I want to go to church! Our sermon is on JOY today! (ohhhh the irony!) However it just took a minute for me to realize that God had answered my prayers! He waited until I was done with all of my commitments, to have me succomb to my sickness. So while I was bummed to miss church I was very thankful for his graciousness!

I have to say as well that I am so thankful for my healthier lifestyle I have been adapting to and implementing these past few months. I am nowhere near as sick as I would normally be! I have been able to teach and carry on my normal schedule.

Yesterday, I was running errands and was listening to KLOVE in my truck as usual. "Praise you in this Storm" by Casting Crowns came on, and I attempted to sing along to it as I was driving. I say attempted, because i didn't even get the first verse out before i started crying. I cry-sang the song all the way to the parking lot of where i was going, and then had to take a few moments to compose myself before heading inside. I don't know if you have heard this song before, It holds a very special place in my heart as the Lord used it in my life during a very difficult time.

As I was cry-singing yesterday It hit me how appropriate the words were for choosing joy. Joy doesn't meant that everything in your life is perfect, people are nice to you, everyone you love is safe and well. Choosing joy comes from looking at our circumstances and realizing that God is in control. And that no matter how hard something is, or how oppressed we feel, God has us! He's got our back! And he is walking right there along side of us. He will never leave us or forsake us! I find great comfort in that! I remember when I was going through my hard time, 5 years ago, everyday, and I mean EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  at a specific time, right when i was headed to my "Storm" I would be driving and God would play this song on KLOVE. I have grown to love this song, and honestly think of it as a love song sent from the Lord just to remind me that he is there, and I need to trust him and his plan, and continue to worship him, even when the rain (or snow!) is falling.

I leave you with the lyrics:

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

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And 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

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You 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 lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

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