I wanted to share something with you that God has recently been teaching me. That is, to praise God through everything and anything.
This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. After all, who wants to praise God, when they are at their worst moment?
I’ve been reminded of this off and on recently, but it really stuck on a night where I had a good amount of mishaps (go figure, right?). It made me think about how I needed to be praising God through it all and that, even though it was difficult to see it then, God would use those mishaps and conflicts to shape me for the better.
Just to humor y’all, I shall tell you what I was doing, that day it really stuck for me.
I arrived home from being at a sleepover where I only slept 3 1/2 hours. I think I was still hyper from the night before, as I didn’t feel tired at all. Well, my wise parents told me to take a nap, so I did and it was lovely. When I awoke 2 1/2 hours later, my parents were just about to leave to go on a date. They would be leaving all of the children with me (There’s 5; all younger than I, for those of you who don’t know. 😉 ) for at least five hours.
This shouldn’t be terribly hard to accomplish, right? After all, they are my siblings, and I get the comfort of babysitting them in my home. What could possibly go wrong, you ask?
Haha, need you know? Well, I shall tell you, as it is rather hysterical, looking back at it.
In the first 3 minutes after my parents left, my baby brother awoke crying, my other brother hit another brother with a football, thus creating the younger one to sob and moan. Both came inside, one standing on as the other cried bitterly. I got that all sorted out, but then you’ll never guess what happened.
First off, let me say that we are trying to potty-train my youngest brother. We’ve made some progress, but not a whole lot.
That being said, I brought my baby brother upstairs from his nap and set him down so that I could go find his little potty. Let’s just say, I found his little potty, but I was unaware that there were contents in it. So, I spilled that lovely substance all over myself and onto the floor, which I obviously then had to clean up.
There was lots more that happened that night, too. What I told you about was just the first couple of minutes after my parents had left.
I sat down after these first few minutes of disaster and realized how God was showing me what parenting was going to be like. Sure, I’ve got loads to learn, but I do think that God has been teaching me how to take care of my siblings, so that I might one day take care of my own kids.
I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t pray to God for patience, because then He will give you ways in which to be patient. The Bible clearly says that we are
Psalm 26:2 says:
Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind…”
I think we’re supposed to pray for God to test us. If we just go through our lives and never learn anything, we’re going to stay the same and we won’t grow wiser. Even though it’s painful, if we ask Jesus to give us ways to be patient, to control our anger or to love others, we will learn from the experiences. I think we, as Christians, need to ask God to test us.
That said, we should realize that all we go through, will end up okay. God has a plan for each and every of our lives and even if that plan isn’t what we want and it hurts, it’s still God’s plan, and we have a reason to praise Him. How? We can praise Him for giving us a chance at life. We can praise Him for dying on the cross for us. We can praise Him for the everyday circumstances in life that happen around us. In my case as mentioned above, I realized that I had a choice to make: I could either praise God for all my siblings, even though it wasn’t easy; or I could grumble and complain, neither of which would help the situation, whatsoever.
In our culture, praising God through our difficulties usually doesn’t happen. We tend to revert to our sinful ways of grumbling and complaining, when we should be rejoicing in the trials we face. As Peter said in the Bible,
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. – 1 Peter 4:12-12(Italics added by me)
We need to always rejoice, no matter what the circumstances. When your little brother had a blowout and you need to clean him up, rejoice that you have such a brother. When you’re in a hurry and the traffic seems to be moving so slowly, rejoice in the fact that you have a car to drive in. The list goes on and on.
So I challenge you today:
Rejoice in everything. And in everything, rejoice!