I’m currently reading Matt Redman’s book 10,000 Reasons, and there is so much in the book that has touched my heart. Through the personal stories and Matt’s own words and testimony, we see all the more our need to worship God with each and every breath.
One of the things he wrote was this, “Imagine the last strains of your song here being the first notes of your song there.” I found this to be both utterly moving and straight up “check yourself.” You see, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, these could be the last words I type. Jesus could call me home at any moment. And I have to think, “What do I want to be doing when Jesus comes for me?” Do I want to be angry and bitter over my circumstances or do I want to praise His holy name?”
I want each and everything I do to be full-blown, straight up worship.
I want what I’m doing today, tomorrow, and the next day to be leading me into eternal worship with Him.
So then comes this……
What is my life song? What is my soundtrack?
In his book, Matt recounts stories of those who have faced dark days, valleys we all hope and pray we never have to walk through. And yet, these people worship and praise the name of the Lord. They are creating their soundtrack for the soul.
What about my soul? Yours? Is there a soundtrack? What continues to play in the background of your soul and in the words of your heart? Is it fear and lament or is it praise and adoration?
I’ll be honest: it isn’t easy to praise and worship God in the midst of trials. Perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced was the miscarriage of my fourth child. I love being a mom. I love everything about pregnancy. Everything from conception to birth is a pure miracle, and it is a blessing to be able to experience it. Needless to say, I was completely devastated when I lost my baby. I remember waiting for test results and talking to God about it. Although I wanted that baby so badly, I had to come to terms with the possibility that I would never know that child this side of heaven. I had a choice to make: do I become angry at God for putting me through this or do I chose to praise Him and allow His will to be done in this situation?
I told God, “Just give me the test results. I know that regardless of what they are, you are here with me, and it will all be ok.”
That was so hard to do….to say, “God, your will be done even though it may not be my will.”
One of the first songs I heard after this decision was Casting Crowns’ Praise You in this Storm. And that was God telling me I’m here with you in this storm. Trust me.
Other songs would follow…..Blessings, It is Well, How Great Thou Art, and even 10,000 Reasons.
And when my body naturally gave way, I was scared, but I found my peace in God. He provided for me in wonderful ways. I found myself praising Him for the memories of my grandfather as I had banana Popsicles because I was too weak for anything else. I was praising my Gracious Heavenly Father for my 3 healthy children. I was praising God for the unconditional love of my husband. I was praising Him for the people who cared for me and my family during that time. And I am still praising my Lord….that I’m able to use my experience to bring hope and comfort to others.
It’s not always easy to praise and worship God in difficult times. However, my faith is strengthened each and every time I soak in His word. And His word strengthens every part of my being. Each and every day, when those small hurdles pop up and I feel like I’m on an obstacle course, I lean on His written word, and the soundtrack of my soul resounds of His power. And I crave more of Him……and it repeats……In the good and the bad, in the beauty and the filth, my soundtrack plays and His anthem is felt deep within my soul.