Sunday, February 26, 2017.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was on I-95N, heading home from a weekend in Virginia Beach with a friend. I shouldn’t have been there that weekend, but I “knew what I was doing” and I acted accordingly. Right? Wrong! Anyway, I was driving home and since it was Sunday, I chose to listen to some gospel music. “Yes”, by Shekinah Glory was playing and I was singing my entire heart out. Just as the song ended, a truck rammed into the back of a car, and the car rammed into the back of me. That song became my shift song and I whenever I heard it, I knew God was about to make a shift in my life.
Fast forward five years to this past Saturday, February 26th. I was home completing a grad assignment and as I was working on it, I felt transported into areas of my past that I hadn’t quite healed from yet.
My weight/eating issues.
My relationships with men.
My childhood trauma.
Completing the assignment was killing me, minute by minute, yet I pressed so that I could be done with it. Just as I hit submit, I realized one horrible fact- I had forgotten to include one key component of the assignment and I now had to redo everything. I was broken. The day had already weighed on me, adding to the uncomfortable weight on my body (from months of poor health habits) and my mind (from the week that had just ended). I was emotionally drained and that realization just sent me into a desire to retreat back to my bed.
I should have listened to the little voice inside of me that was telling me to procrastinate like I always do….
In the days leading up to me serving in any official ministerial capacity, I am always emotionally burdened. It’s as though the enemy picks that precise moment to attack me and cause pain in my weakest points. Or, maybe, God is using that to allow me to see areas where I need to lean on Him more. It’s probably the latter, but the former takes the responsibility off of me… so, I pick that one. Whatever the case, I knew that with me serving as worship leader at church yesterday, this past week would have its difficulties, so early on, I asked God for additional help throughout the week.
Instead of peace….
- My cycle came, bringing headaches and emotional discomfort.
- Ukraine was attacked.
- A panic attack greeted me on Friday evening.
- And then this assignment.
I truly felt, for the briefest of moments, that God did not hear my request. I wanted the week to go smoothly so that I could prepare my heart and mind to serve. Turns out, God still used this past week for His glory because it pushed me to praise.
As I stood in the pulpit yesterday, I urged everyone to offer God sacrifices of praise, even as they stood in the midst of whatever life circumstances they were facing. I pulled on the pain that my heart had encountered and used that as a tool to help me praise my God. I rendered to Him a Barak praise, silent and filled with tears of gratitude. That’s all I had to give and, thankfully, that’s all He desired. Yes, I’m not fully healed, but I truly know where my help comes from.
This week I had unknowingly been rendering many different types of praises to God and it was on February 26th that God revealed the truth- it is my praise that will set me free.
Beloved, I do not know what you are going through and what weight you may be experiencing right now, but I’m begging you to stop in the midst of it all and offer praises to our God. Whether it’s a Towdah (sacrifice of praise), Yadah (hands raised), Barak (silent praise), Halal (soul praise), Zamar (instrument song), Tehilah (sing along), or Shabach (shout praise)- cry out to the Lord and declare His majesty before all the earth! There is power in your praise, there is victory in your praise, and Beloved, there is God in your praise!