Thursday, August 16, 2012

Singing Through The Storm


Gabrielle was the Flower Girl in my sister's wedding
June 23, 2012

"Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.  Then some...stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.  Early in the morning...as they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful.' After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: 
'Give thanks to the Lord,
    for His love endures forever.'
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord...He [brought victory]." 

2 Chronicles 20


A few times a year where we live, especially during the spring and summer seasons, we have a "severe weather/tornado warning".  My kids know the drill when the warning sounds:  quickly get your most valuable things and head to the basement playroom until the warning is over.  We all stay close together and, if the electricity hasn't gone out, we turn on The Weather Channel to watch updates on the unwelcome storm. 

Being the The Weather Channel meteorological geek that I am, I find storms fascinating.  As long as nobody is being harmed, I love watching weather miracles unfold. 


"He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
    He sends lightning with the rain 

    and brings out the wind from His storehouses."

Psalm 135:7

It is quite different, however, when you find yourself seeking shelter from a storm. Frightened and feeling vulnerable, watching a storm and being in its path are two different things.  


My go-to passage when facing a storm or menacing enemy is 2 Chronicles 20.  Full of God's truth and His victory plan for battle, 2 Chronicles 20 reminds us to meet an approaching storm with prayer, fasting and praising the Lord in song.  I love that Jehoshaphat appointed a worship team to lead the people in song as they approached the vast army in front of them.  Hello life lesson.

All of these three precious stones in our shepherd's bag keep our eyes fixed on the Lord:  prayer, fasting, praising Him in song.  Our eyes are not on the vast army before us, rather they are on our Defender.
   

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. ” 
2 Chronicles 20:12


Recently one evening upon hearing the storm/tornado warning on our television, my children and I went calmly but quickly into storm mode.  We grabbed our Bibles, the children's portrait above our fire place, our dog, a few of our favorite things and our electronic devices with chargers and headed to the basement.  Joshua and Gabrielle were frightened but knew what to do and handled the warning with great responsibility.  With pounding rain and clashes of lightning and thunder outside, Joshua and Gabrielle went to safe shelter in the basement.

Realizing I had left a flashlight upstairs, I ran back up to the kitchen.  Gabrielle shouted, "Mom, hurry up. I want you with me."  Taking a little longer than Gabrielle would have wanted me to, she snuggled up with her blanket, pillow, Bible and flashlight while I was still upstairs.  Assuring her that I'd be right down to snuggle with her, I heard her start to sing:

"Holy is the Lord God Almighty,
the earth is filled with His glory."

Her tender voice embraced me as I made my way down the stairs to the basement playroom.  With her blanket sweetly wrapped around her face and holding her Bible and flashlight in her hand, she sang praises to our Maker in the midst of the approaching storm.  

"We stand and lift up our hands, 
for the joy of the Lord is our strength.
We bow down and worship Him now,
how great, how awesome is He."

She knew.  Instinctively, Gabrielle's heart knew to sing to the Lord as "the vast army" approached...or in this case as a dangerous storm ruthlessly knocked on the door of our home.  Joshua and I sat down next to Gabrielle and we joined her in singing to the Lord as the thunder roared and the lightning lit up the night sky.

With a lump in my throat and tears streaming down my face, I quietly thanked the Lord for His faithfulness.  His children's battle plan is straightforward:  keeping our eyes on Him through prayer, fasting and praising Him in song.

Like it did that day for Jehoshaphat and God's people, our storm ended and we were able to dwell safely in our home. Psalm 107 shows us that, as we cry out to Him in our distress, He stills the storm to a whisper and He leads us to our desired haven.  God is our Defender (2 Chronicles 20:29), who He gives us peace and rest on every side.  (2 Chronicles 20:30)

Gabrielle reminded her mommy to sing praises to Jesus in the midst of life's storms.  Aside from Christ, I have no power to face a vast army.  Not knowing what to do in and of myself, my eyes are fixed on Him in prayer, fasting and praise.

Then they cried out to the 
Lord in their trouble,
    and He brought them out of their distress. 
29 
He stilled the storm to a whisper;

    the waves of the sea were hushed. 
30 
They were glad when it grew calm,

    and He guided them to their desired haven.
31 
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love 
    and His wonderful deeds for men.

Psalm 107:28-31


Thankful that He stills the storm to a whisper 
and leads us to our desired haven.




Sharing the praise today!  Recently I was honored to assist Michael O'Brien at the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina.  Michael is an amazing worship leader who adores His God, his beautiful wife and his children.  I would love to share Michael's worship CD ~ Be Still My Soul ~ with one of you!  Just leave a comment (be sure to leave your email or contact information)!  I will pray for you, and the winner of the CD will be announced on Monday!


Also, the winner of the Blackaby "Experiencing God Day By Day Devotional" from the Really Running With Jesus post is "Laurie" - runner and mom of four!  Laurie ~ email me your full name and mailing address so I can send you your devotional!  histablefortwo@live.com 

10 comments:

Reformed rebel said...

Sharon this was just exactly what I needed to read today. I have been going through some health storms and at times get a little scared at what seems to be happening. But...I know that the LORD is with me every step of the way. HE has been showing me many things lately and assuring me that HE is with me. Praise GOD!! I love this... Psalm 107 shows us that, as we cry out to Him in our distress, He stills the storm to a whisper and He leads us to our desired haven. God is our Defender (2 Chronicles 20:29), who He gives us peace and rest on every side. (2 Chronicles 20:30).

Thank you for your post today!

Here is my e-mail...chelle81007@yahoo.com

God Bless you...Chelle

Mike Moss said...

Great word! I have several friends who are facing storms in their lives. I'm going to share this on my FB page. THANK YOU for being sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to post this today. Blessings!

Tracy L. said...

I have sent your insight to my dear friend who is watching her husband suffer from stage 4 throat cancer at the age of 44. With three young sons, they are in the midst of a huge storm. And yet my friend continue to praise Him every step of the way! I love this!

Tracy L.
leary15@charter.net

Robin said...

Sharon,

Thank you for this. I'm headed into a storm as I go out of town for my brother's funeral. I simply didn't know how to pray today for my family and myself as I desire to walk in grace. Thank you for the reminder of 2 Chron 20. I will go forward in prayer, fasting and praise!

In Christ,

Robin

Anonymous said...

Sharon what a beautiful word today. I see storms raging all around me, some affecting me and others those I dearly love. I want to pass this on to others. We will go forward in prayer, fasting and PRAISE! Blessings
Darlene
dhthompson@bellsouth.net

LRF said...

Hello! I came upon your blog through P31! I read the devotions each day if possible. Anyway, I enjoyed your blog post & I would love to win the CD:) lmorr613@hotmail.com

~Blessings~

Love Never Fails said...

Dear Sharon,

This blog touched my heart so much reading about Gabrielle singing during the storm. Probably because it reminds me of me.

Music has been such a passion of mine.

I would love to hear that she is taking singing lessons or playing music as it may just be something God has gifted her to do. And if not,she can have some fun doing something that she likes.

I love reading your blogs.

Thank you!!!

Much Love,
June

Pam said...

This is the first time I have been to your blog. I found it very comforting. Family tragedies are hard when you are going through but often when you are on the other side you can look back and see so much growth in your relationship with God.
miniaussie@gmail.com

ErinBeth said...

Hi Sharon, thank you for posting this blog. My family and I has recently suffered the loss of my daughter who passed away two weeks before her expected due date and we have been battling threw this storm. (RIP TEMPERANCE PAIGE 7/26/2012) Even though we have been going through this great loss and I have questioned many times why this has happened to us, and wondering why would we have to experience this, it has brought me closer to God, as I wasn't so close before. I know he has a plan for me and my family so I continue to pray to Him. (Romans 14:8)

Again, thank you for your posting.
God Bless
Erinbeth
Ziggy8283@gmail.com

Jodie said...

Hi Sharon, after being away for a couple of days and "catching up" in my reading, I read your post late yesterday. Thank you for being deligent and posting what the Lord would have you write. This was/is so what I need as I go into the storm that has been approaching -- prayer, fasting & song. This post caught my 'eye' as I love to sing. Also, in thinking about storms, they bring rain and the Lord brings healing rain which is so what needs to take place within me, my husband, our marriage. I welcome this knowing that prayer, fasting and praise will keep my eyes on my Defender through the storm to the other side where He brings peace and rest. Blessings ~Jodie