Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Worship In The Sunshine And The Rain

Our town's newspaper, The Sumter Item, ran a story on November 7, 2015 about how the recent flood has affected this area.  Jackie is one of the women featured in the article.  On October 4, 2015, she noticed water coming into her home because of the heavy rains outside.  That afternoon her residence was knee deep in water, and she had to leave.  She lost everything, except for a few article of clothing.  Since then, people have stepped up to help her in various ways.  My favorite part of the story is when Jackie told writer Rick Carpenter, "In everything I've been through, I know God has blessed me."

Wow!  That's inspiring.  What a perfect response to tough times.

Her experience reminds me of a Bible story.  In the Old Testament we read about a man named Job.  One day, he lost everything.  His material possessions, his family, and his livestock were all taken away from him.  It was a devastating blow!  Then we see Job doing this in chapter 1, verses 20-21:  "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship, and said:  'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  May the name of the Lord be praised.'" 

Job did two things.  First, he grieved.  He allowed himself to experience the emotional journey of sadness and anger after his tragedy.  Second, he worshipped.  He recognized the authority of God and praised Him for it. 

Jackie and Job both realized something:  Just as God is worthy of worship in the good times, He is also worthy of worship in the hard times.  Whether the sun is shining or the rains are falling, God is still good and deserving of our praise.  Yes, it's good and healthy to express our pain and walk through the journey of grief.  We need to do that as part of our healing process.  And at the same time, it's also beneficial to adore our God.  Tears may run down our face as we lift up our hands, but that's ok.  In worshipping God, we are giving Him the praise He is due, and we are reminding ourselves how good He is to us even in the midst of adversity.

God is good.  He blesses us with His presence, peace, and power regardless of how life is going.  So let's remember the examples set by Jackie and Job.  Let's praise our God whether the sky is sunny or the clouds are dark.

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