This has been a hard thing for me in my walk with God, and I think a lot of it has to do with the way Christians are taught in the United States. Those of us who live here know that we are an individualistic, performance-based society. That makes it hard to ask for help when we need it or to even ask for a listening ear. Of course, it comes from the other side as well. We, as Christians, need to be willing to help others or provide that listening ear. Scripture is replete with many examples of Jesus ministering to others and praying for others, and He wants us to do the same.
So, how do we praise God in the storms of life? First and foremost, I believe it is a conscious choice. Every day I wake up with a choice to make whether to let my burdens overwhelm me to the point of despair or to praise God despite my burdens. That doesn’t mean the burdens are ignored. It just means the burdens are left in God’s hands, and our hearts are lighter. A funny thing happened as I was writing these last few sentences. I turned on my phone to play some Christian music. Those of you who have iPhones are familiar with the shuffle button. I pressed it, and you will never guess what song came up first. If you guessed Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns, you would be right. I think it’s neat that God sends messages through the smallest things.
Second, it helps to have others carrying and praying for your burdens which means you need to be willing to share them. Now, that is a very hard thing because it means making yourself vulnerable to rejection. There have been many times where I’ve felt rejected when I’ve shared something, even with people who claim Christianity. I believe that’s where God gives us courage though (divine courage, as someone recently told me). It’s not between being afraid and not being afraid. It’s being afraid and allowing God to carry us anyway. It’s being afraid and praising God anyway. It’s letting God work through us, our fragile human selves, anyway.
It’s taken me a long time to figure this out, and I will probably be figuring it out until the day I die. But, I will still praise God every chance I get, even in the storm.
God’s blessings on you today.