The pain was as fresh as a boxer’s wound.
Life had dealt her enough uppercuts to distort her features, and she could barely smile without it looking like a grimace. To mask the pain searing through her heart, she hid the regret, and past hurt behind her carefully made up face.
Years of neglect, abuse and depression were the hallmarks of her life, and it seemed she was a prisoner behind the pain. The fear of another wrong decision mentally barricaded her as she sobbed in self-pity.
Her children had been taken from her by their father, and as much as she wanted full custody of them, she knew she was not in a position to do so emotionally, financially or otherwise. The bills were piling up as high as the dirty dishes in the sink, and she was about to be evicted.
Rolling out of bed, she made the decision to attend church to see if Jesus could sprinkle a miracle on her situation because she was all out of options. As soon as she walked in, the choir was belting out a rendition of Marvin Sapp’s “Praise Him in Advance.”1
I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around,
God came and spoke these words to me; praise will confuse the enemy.
I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing,
they knew my problems; they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away.2
It sounded absurd to her that she should start praising God in advance for the victory, but she did it anyway. She sang, she clapped, and danced until the shackles fell. Just as Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20 when there was an army threatening to attack, he and the people started to worship God in the impending battle. There seemed to be no way out, but God made a way!
The pain slowly ebbed, and she felt free and weightless as the peace of God washed over her. He reassured her of His faithfulness and the knowledge that her power was contained in prayer and praise.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
1 Sapp, M. (2013). “Praise Him in Advance.” Retrieved from Marvin Sapp website http://marvinsapp.com/
2 AZlyrics. (2013).”Praise Him in Advance.” Retrieved from AZlyrics website http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/marvinsapp/praisehiminadvance.html
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