Sunday, June 6, 2010

No Longer Just a Song

This morning at the church we were visiting, the praise band sang Praise You in This Storm, by Casting Crowns. I've loved this song since I first heard it a few years ago. But back then, it was just a song. It was a nice tune with beautiful words - words that were meant to comfort someone else. In fact, I took this song and made a video with some of my pictures for a sweet man named Jack who was battling cancer.

But this morning as the song started and the first words were sung, I was struck by them.

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

And 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
As tears filled my eyes, I looked back at what God has brought me through. Sure I thought he would have healed me a long time ago. I prayed for it. But at the beginning, my prayers sounded more like demands. "God heal me now. Take the pain away now. Give me strength now." But something changed, and I went from making demands to saying, "Whatever brings you the most glory." That was a huge step for me because it meant admitting that I wasn't in control of what was happening, but it also brought me freedom in that it allowed me to open up my life for God to work in ways that never would have happened otherwise.

I believe that one of the reasons I've experienced this sickness is because God needed me to know what hopeless feels like. He needed me to know what it's like when it feels as if He is so far away. He needed me to experience the darkness of the valley so that in the future I could bring light to someone else's valley. And most of all, I needed to come to a point where I could say, "I want your name to be glorified through my life," and learn how to praise Him despite my circumstances. That hasn't always been easy. I've thrown my fair share of temper tantrums at the Lord. But like a child, despite all of the times I didn't get my way, at the end of the day I still love my Heavenly Father who knows what's best for me and understands far more than I do.

- Aly

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