Can you imagine praising God on one of the worst days of your life? I can now, but that hasn’t always been the case. I was sixteen years old when I attended my first funeral, that of my seventeen-year-old cousin who had died of heart failure. When my mom broke the news, I walked out of the house and started roaming without direction. I had just seen him a few days earlier and I could not phantom his death, so I kept walking and walking. Before long, I reached home again, fell to my knees and screamed “Why God, why?”
You see, I was kind of angry at the world and I didn’t understand why God had allowed this pain to enter my family. My cousin’s funeral was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through during my teenage years. My faith grew a bit weak after the funeral, I just couldn’t deal with my grief. Of course I eventually found my way back, but some sort of resentment always lingered. Now let’s fast forward six years to when my dad fell ill. There were exactly three weeks between the day we heard he had cancer and his death, on Christmas day. We buried him on the morning of New Year’s Eve and I again felt some kind of resentment burning inside of me.
I just didn’t understand why God allowed this to happen, again. But one Sunday when I attended church, something changed for me. At the beginning of service, an elder made the announcement that one of our members had suddenly lost her husband. She was left behind with their young children and I felt so incredibly sorry for her. He ended by saying that she urged the congregation not to feel resentful but instead sing the song “Your praise will ever be on my lips” by Bethel Music for her. I felt chills going through my spine every word of that message. This woman had just lost her husband & her children were left with no father; and she was praising God! How could that be?
I think that when she faced this loss, she remembered (or never forgot) the promise of God. As Christians, we need to know that whatever happens in life; God is faithful to us (Deuteronomy 7:9). There is nothing we cannot overcome with Him by our side (Philippians 4:13). He is our Rock, our Strength, our Shield and our Protector; He is Love, Peace, Joy and Victory. When you’re sad, He will comfort you (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). When you’re broken, He will mend you (Psalm 147:3). When you’re weak, He will carry you Isaiah 41:10). When you feel like giving up, He will guide you (Psalm 32:8). He is the LIVING God, no pain is too much for Him to take away (Jeremiah 10:10).
I have yet to come across the one who loses a loved one and isn’t emotional or doesn’t break down. Crying, anger and sadness is all part of the grieving process and it is completely normal. But this woman in church, she made such an impact on me. She didn’t wait on God to heal her, because she knew she was already whole (Colossians 2:10). She praised Him for who He was, is, and will continue to be; all the while dealing with this enormous loss. She most likely did feel broken inside, but trusted in the plan God has for her life. Isn’t that something we all should do?
What I am trying to say is that, when we look at all that God has done, we should never stop praising Him. No matter what we’re going through, we will be alright if we put our trust in the Lord. Because of who He is, we should praise Him always, unconditionally & forever. Whatever it is we have to heal from, be it the death of a loved one, heartbreak, disappointment, sickness or betrayal; nothing can bring us more comfort than being under the wings of the Lord. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you will never face hardships, it just means you know who to turn to when it happens. Don’t pull away in sadness; in your darkest times, seek God, for His promise to you is greater than any kind of pain.