I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
This is where the practical side of Dancing with the Scars begins. Praise is as much a decision as it is a natural outflow of the Spirit from within. We can understand that God is worthy of praise at all times and believe it with every ounce of our being but we can choose to stop the outflow of praise because of pain, sorrow or disappointment. One of the many bad pieces of advice that is often given to someone who is in personal agony is; “You need to just thank God for it and press on.” The truth is, the loss of a loved one, the pain of betrayal or the loss of health and a myriad of others things are not things we are to be thankful “for” but they are things we are to be thankful “through”. God hates death! Then why doesn’t He eliminate it you may say, He did! The second death, which is eternal death, has no power over those who trust Christ as Lord and Savior therefore; When life is good and when it is not and we can thank Him for our salvation as we mourn or heal, we can thank Him for His faithfulness when we had lapses of faith. We need to do the practical things that we always did and knew to be right when things were good and the sky was clear and sunny. We can know and believe that we need to be in church and with God’s people hearing from His word but we still must decide to do so. The ministries you were involved in before are still your ministries, the practices that are expressions of love and service to God are essential to beginning to Dance with the Scars. We will talk about the timing of this in our next chapter but the future first thinking thing I mentioned a few moments ago is critical in the opening stages of painful life events and it begins by remembering this one simple truth, as soon as you are able to think again!
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4 NLT
He will, means that at some point in the future this will come to pass, but for now, tears, death, sorrow, and crying come when life happens. It is as natural to ask “why” as it is to sorrow and cry when life happens in tragic or traumatic ways. It is understandable to wonder about the unanswerable, but we cannot live there for the rest of our lives. We must move from the “why did this happen” to the “how am I going to get through.” You must come to the place where you say; I am ready to move forward with unanswered questions, I am ready to lean on God and not blame Him, I am going to praise Him not because my life is good but because He is God and worthy of praise at all times, even the worst of times.
One final word of before we move on, I am not at all suggesting that we treat tragedy or that because you know God life’s traumas and trials should hurt less, but what I am saying is do not abandon your best hope of Dancing with the Scars when life happens, which is God. He will get you through, He will help you and will mend your broken heart and restore your hope and joy. He won’t force it on you, you must decide, in time, to let Him turn your mourning into dancing.
Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.