There’s a rhythmically-challenged introverted praise and worship party going on inside my soul. Why? Because God doesn’t call us to praise Him just when things are smooth sailing; but rather, and perhaps in reality what happens more often in this fallen world in which we live, He asks for a sacrifice of praise when certain defeat seems to be looming.
Hebrews 13:15: Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
2 Chronicles 20: 2-3; 22: Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar.” Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah…As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they [the enemy] were defeated.
There must be missing or defective neurological pathways up in my noggin, because “rhythm” and “Amanda” used in the same sentence presents an oxymoron. Before I was fully conscience of my misfiring disability, I resolved, in my senior year of high school, to explore my artistic side. So I began ballet classes and flute lessons. I took dance classes as a wee one, but that was back when my still-developing gross motor skills discreetly covered over my rhythmic abnormalities.
But at 18, when my coordination and finely tuned motor skills were in their full glory, there was no concealing my artistic issues. I was very nearly laughed off the dance floor by my ballet protégé peers, and my flute instructor in essence told me I was wasting my money and time continuing any further lessons. I can say this with much humor and while laughing since I know that I’m adequately coordinated in sports, athletics, and conventional affairs. But when it comes to music, dancing, holding a beat…I fail…miserably.
I adore singing praise songs, dancing, and “teaching” rhythmic units in my preschool through first grade classes. We jump around, bellow praises, and jive to the beat (I jive to whatever beat is in my head). My three to seven-year-old students don’t yet recognize their teacher’s lacking cadence. But I abruptly cease teaching dance units after first grade; second through eighth graders are shrewd little fellas. They quickly catch on to my disability. (Not that we stop dancing, praising, and worshipping in our units in higher grades, but I have to be much more creative in my presentation!) And you will rarely observe me clapping while singing in church or in school chapel services. I just can’t do it. I can sing (off key), but I can’t clap to any kind of correct beat. (I’m sure that my introverted tendencies don’t aid me in exuberant demonstratives either.) Even my supportive, loving husband laughs at me when I try.
Nevertheless, there is a rhythmically-challenged introverted praise and worship party going on inside my soul. We all have trials we are experiencing, but we are called to WORSHIP! God reminded me of this (2 Chronicles 20: 2-3; 22) via a good friend who told me how powerful praise is, perhaps especially when we are going through trials. He reminded me of this while I was on a plane a few days ago traveling to visit my dad. Praise lifts our attitude and reminds us that we are not in control but the One to Whom we adore is in control of us, events in our lives, and even over life and death. The growing party inside me nearly made me jump out of my overly confined airplane pigeonhole and begin “dancing” in the aisle. But, I didn’t want to give any of my fellow passengers a cardiac arrest with what would have been perceived as possessed gyrations. Similarly, I exhibited control during the two-hour drive from the airport to my dad’s house only because I had to think of the safety of other drivers. But there was significant and ear-piercing hubbub trumpeting from my belly while I was driving that was only recognizable to me as singing. And I was praising my Lord for His goodness and for certain victory over trials. Because 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
[On a very side note…I also get to be with my grandma as I am visiting my dad. She was kind enough to brew me a very mean cup of joe this morning—mean enough to instantly grow hair on my chest. So the party going on this particular morning is in triple time.]
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