The Power of Praising God Even in the Storm
Shattered and numb from receiving the worst possible news at the hospital, I instructed my three sons to go to my bedroom so I could talk with them. They were 13, 10 and 8.
Telling them their daddy had gone to heaven to be with Jesus ranks as the hardest thing I have ever done.
The task seemed insurmountable. Already numb from the news myself, how could I ever speak it to them?
What had just happened? What was God thinking? I needed my husband. I mean, really needed him. And our boys needed their daddy. He was the rock of our family. And I couldn’t imagine the rest of my days without him.
It seemed a wall loomed ahead, threatening our way of life. Somehow, I had to make it to the other side and begin an unwanted and unfamiliar future.
People told me that I must be a strong person for God to allow such a tragic event in my life. But I didn’t feel strong at all. In fact, I felt broken, weary and tired. Until that event, I never knew a heart could physically ache from grief. I didn’t know I could miss someone with my every breath.
Through the next painful days, weeks, months and years, God was the rock, the shelter, the provider I needed.
He demonstrated His love for me and stood right beside me.
Looking for God’s blessings
I once heard someone say that when you look for God’s blessings, you will find them. I will be the first to admit that the experience of losing my husband didn’t automatically bring praise to my lips or the feeling of being blessed to my mind. But I distinctly remember talking to God while at my husband’s hospital bedside.
He rarely sat still. Even when on a phone call, he paced the floor, whether at work or at home. Seeing him in a hospital bed with wires and tubes was almost more than I could bear.
As much as I prayed and pleaded with God, there was a point over those five days that I was willing to accept whatever was to come. At that time, I told my husband I loved him and that it was okay if he had to go.
I cried out to my God to heal him, but decided in my heart that if He didn’t, I would still praise Him.
It is important to accept that God knows why things happen, even when we don’t understand.
I believe He is worthy of our praise in times of joy and times of grief. He is worthy even through whatever circumstance, trial or pain wrecks our world. He never promised us a perfect life on earth, only a perfect eternity for those who know Him.
I have witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. It was only through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that got my family to the other side of that wall of uncertainty during those dark days.
Praise Changes Things
Joshua 6 describes a wall between the Israelites and the place God had promised them. That wall surrounded the city of Jericho, and God had a plan for Joshua to defeat the city. (Jericho was the first city conquered by Israel after crossing the Jordan River and occupying the Promised Land. Joshua 5:13-6:23)
I feel certain the plan to circle the walls of Jericho seemed bizarre to the people. But Joshua listened to God, then executed the plan exactly as God had laid it out for him. And the people followed Joshua’s instruction.
When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20 (NIV)
The walls of Jericho fell – not because of human strength or skill – but because of the faith and shouts of praise of the people. That demonstrates the power of praise.
Because of their faith, they saw the power of God in action.
And with their faith, they accomplished the task as God intended.
I know with certainty that God brought me to a place of strength from my heartbreak. Was it easy? Of course not. Grief can keep us bound and not able to move forward.
But praising Him through loss puts perspective in our lives and helps us to be strong during life’s storms.
Joshua was a man of great faith. And he saw the limitless power of the Lord. We can too. We can cling to our faith to move those mountains, tear down those walls and see the power of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives, working on our behalf.
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. Psalm 35:28 (NIV)
Raised among the cypress trees and bayous of the Louisiana Delta, Patricia Cameron learned early on to cherish God and family. After her biggest trial tested her faith, she now aspires to help others see that God is worthy of praise, even in times of grief. Her late husband’s zest for life inspired her to live her own fully aware of God’s presence, power and purpose — and to encourage others to do the same. Patricia has the honor and joy of raising three sons, Connor, Garrett and Parker. Her daughter Ashlynn died at birth and is safe in the arms of Jesus. Her first book, Grief Unwrapped: Discovering Joy in a Season of Sorrow, released in November 2022.