Several weeks back, I posted a blog on facebook about how much joy I get when I see the connection between the lyrics of one of my favorite songs and the Bible verses from which it is based. (FYI, I have now written this sentence seven times, and this is the first time I wrote it without ending the sentence with a preposition.)
Sitting here in the rain storm left from the remnants of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac, I am reminded of that song, “Praise You In This Storm,” by Casting Crowns. The lyrics of the song are below:
I remember thinking about the lyrics to verse 1, where the songwriter is crying out to God almost wondering why God has not answered his prayer yet – with one line saying “But once again, I say ‘Amen’, and its still raining” – This verse always reminds me of the Psalms where David was crying out to God, and wondering why there wasn’t an answer yet. To me, this is a lesson on perspective. It is easy for someone to lose hope and faith in the midst of their personal storm and feel despair for their unanswered prayer. But I think the songwriter (and David) are giving encouragement to remain faithful and continue to say “Amen” because God is faithful and will answer every prayer, in His way and His time. This is bore out in the rest of verse 1 where we are reminded that even in our storms, if we are still and listen for Him, we can hear His voice even through the thunder. To me, this is a reminder to focus and concentrate on God and not allow myself to be distracted by the thunder created by the storms in my life.
The chorus to this song is nothing more than (and so much more than) a reminder of just who God is and how He hold everything in His hand, including our tears. He will never leave our side and will walk with us through whatever tough time we are going through. What a promise, and how amazing. If you have ever been fortunate enough to have that special friend, or spouse, or other family member who has stuck with you, no matter what – you know what a blessing that truly is. And even that doesn’t compare to how God stands beside us and how in response to that, we have no choice but to Praise Him!
And in verse 2, that chorus is driven home even further, as we are reminded that even when (and especially when), we can no longer carry on by ourselves, God is there to lift us up and give us the strength to carry on. This makes me think of the poem “Footprints in the Sand,” where the writer is speaking to God and reminiscing about the times when God was walking beside the writer and he could clearly see two sets of footprints in the sand, but then those times when things were tough and life was hard, the writer asked God why it seemed as though God left him, because in those times there was only one set of footprints. God smiled to the writer and shared that it was those times when God had lifted him up and carried him and the one set of footprints actually belonged to God. I can think of so many times in my life that I have lived out verse 2 and have been blessed by that single set of footprints.
And then the bridge, the part of the song that I found in Scripture that inspired this blog – “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” This is Psalm 121 and it is so cool! How many times in my life have I looked around wondering where to go next, what to do next, who to look to for help? I imagine a set of hills or mountains, with cloud cover around it, and looking up trying to see who or what is up there that might help get me out of the valley in which I find myself. This Psalm, and the bridge of this song are constant reminders to me that I don’t need to look into the cloud covered hills, I only need to look to God.
And whether I am still in the storm, or have come out of the storm, I know that I can praise Him for He has me right where He wants me and He will never leave my side.