Floyd's condition has gone up and down a bit, but some days he has been really miserable with the chest congestion. We continually pray for relief from this for him. The last few weeks I have had some very precious visits with him - some of my best over this long unexpected journey. It has been a sweet treasure to my heart. I'm hoping for more to come.
A little while ago I was struck with a violent case of food poisoning. I was horribly sick for hours. I was alone, hoping I wouldn't pass out from the trauma that was attacking my body - and calling out to the Lord to help me.
In the midst of all this, I was reminded of the principle I've written about - worshipping God in everything that comes our way. Laying on my bed in between bouts of being sick, I wondered if I could even do that. I felt consumed with crying out for God to help me. I didn't feel like offering up praises.
But I began to interrupt my pleas for God to help me into thanking Him that He was with me. That I wasn't alone. That He was right beside me. That He was holding my right hand. That He was watching over me. I thanked Him for His faithfulness. I thanked Him for sustaining me through so many things the last few years. I thanked Him that His grace is sufficient for every need - even horrible food poisoning.
The sickness didn't end right there. I was still sick for a few more hours. But something changed. It's hard to describe, but I felt I had overcome something. I began to experience the reality of what I was praying out. God WAS right there with me!! He was helping me and carrying me through something very difficult.
It was a poignant reminder of the power of worship. It releases something that is mighty. It's definitely a tool, a gift that God has placed in our hands. Praise to Him gets us through the trials of life. He is so worthy to receive our praises in every situation of life!
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you 'Do not fear; I will help you.' " Isaiah 41:13
"The Lord your God will always be at your side, and He will never abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6-7
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings." Malachi 4:2
"I honor you and praise you because you have done amazing things. You have always done what you said you would do." Isaiah 25:1
"Because your love is better than life, I will praise you. I will praise you as long as I live. I will lift up my hands in prayer to your name. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely." Psalm 63:3,4,7,8
"Then Jesus said to him, 'Be gone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.' " Matthew 4:10
"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation." Psalm 100
"My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day." Psalm 71:8
Even though my body took a while to recover from the experience, my heart was rejoicing in the fresh lesson I learned about the power of worship. It's a powerful and beautiful tool that God has given us. Praising Him helps us to live in victory in all of life's circumstances.