Praise Him In the Storm (He Has Made Me Glad)

praise in the storm

It has been a long week.
And not an easy one….

Stress at work, stress in relationships, no time to regroup. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. And by Saturday morning I was physically exhausted as well. The aches and pains in my body sent that message. And then to top it off by early Saturday morning I had developed a severe case of hiccups. This may not sound like a big deal but if you have ever had them it is not painful just annoying. And if you happen to be leading a Bible study (as I was early that morning) or in a vocation where talking is a big part of what you do, it can be at the least distracting and somewhat embarrassing.

Really the hiccups as insignificant as that might sound were the last straw piled on top of everything else that it occurred during the week. By Saturday evening in the middle of another extremely busy night at work I was just done.

The thoughts of how done I was came hard and fast “this is just too much, there’s just too much stress in your life, you can’t live like this you’re going to cause yourself to have a heart attack, I’ve got to get away from this, I can’t do his anymore”.

But in the storm of thoughts going on in my head I remembered a comment made by one of my brothers at the Bible study earlier in the day.
He said “sometimes we forget about the warfare that we are told us about in Ephesians  6 and how much that warfare has to do with events in our everyday life.”
It occurred to me that much of what had been going on all week right up to that moment had a lot to do with that unseen warfare.
And then I heard “Praise me in the storm”.

I have heard many sermons and teachings about how important praise in the midst of battle is. I’ve read the scriptures that verify this. But the truth is in that moment, that was the last thing I wanted to do. Because up until that moment I had failed to recognize what was really going on. It wasn’t the job, or the relationships or the physical aches and pains or the many other things going on, that was the primary source of my struggles, it was the attack designed to steal my joy, my peace and ultimately my weapons designed to enable me to effectively wage warfare victoriously in the battle I and all of us face every day. Ironically what the enemy wanted me to focus on as the source of my problems are the very things God intends to be a blessing to my life. And He has also charged me to serve and protect those blessings. My family, my job, my friends….

If I am not aware of the battle I am in, not focused on the perpetrator of the trouble, I cannot wage war effectively against him. Sometimes this begins by getting a hold of myself, and praising Him. Stopping to remember He is my shield, my strength, my shelter, my portion, my deliverer, my strong tower, my very present help in time of need.
His house is my shelter and
secret retreat.
It is there I find peace in
the midst of the storm and turmoil
Psalm 27:5 (thanks Jack)

Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit I stopped in that moment Saturday night and began to do just that.
Praising Him for all He has done and for His ability to take me through the tough times.
It changed my night, it can change my life.

I am happy to report by Sunday morning the hiccups were gone, I was still tired, but I felt a difference in my heart, in my Spirit. Lesson learned. And hopefully one I will take with me daily, remembering to praise Him in the storm, because He has made me glad!


“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!

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