Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We Will Praise You In This Storm, cont'd

Continued from another post- read the first part here.

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I laid down on the bathroom floor, staring toward the ceiling in the dark, numb. I felt as if I should cry... but no tears came.

My mom's text: Their house is gone.
I can't even wrap my mind around it. Memories, safety, security- the flew away with the building.

What if we lose them? Are they safe? Injured? I can't stand the thought. I push it out of my mind.

I pray.

I plead.

I struggle.

I want to praise God in this storm. It is a reminder of His mighty power, His strength, and His complete control. We are so obviously utterly helpless, which oddly feels more comfortable than when we are helpless but refuse to admit it.

But words seem so shallow and meaningless at this point. I often hear people talking about praising God through a storm, but what does that look like? I think that, more than pretty words, He wants our sincere trust and resignation to His will. I don't think anyone is grateful to find out they have cancer, or is thrilled to lose their job or, God forbid, a child. If God knows our hearts- and I believe He does- language that reflects the attitude we want to have about a situation is not what He wants to hear.

As I laid there praying, I remembered that this is part of the Holy Spirit's job, according to one of my favorite passages:
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we
ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that
words can not express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with
God's will." - Romans 8:26-27
You know what? I love this passage. It gives me so much peace to know that I just can't fail at praying. The Holy Spirit guides us, and stands in the gap for us. The only way to fail is to not pray at all. As for praising God in difficult times, I think He wants our sincere love and trust, our awe of His might, our surrender to His will, more than He wants us to pretend we like everything that's happening. After all, He already knows my heart; I can't pretend with God.