Where have you hung your harp?
The other night my wife and I had put our daughter to bed. A few minutes later we heard a crash and then crying. Our daughter came to us and through her tears we found out that her musical princess snow globe had shattered, the cat had knocked it off the shelf. As I tried to calm her down she whimpered, “why does bad things always happen to her?”
Well she had a valid point for a 7 year old. She just lost a prize possession, her snow globe. Now is this a valid question for teenagers or adults? Sometimes in life we suffer from one malady to another. Every time we start to get a handle on a physical aliment another arises. Or maybe every time we start to make ground in securing our finances, problems arise that cause us to go back to struggling with them? How about working tirelessly at a job and proving you are very capable and deserving a promotion yet when the time comes the promotion goes to someone from outside the company or to a less qualified person. We eventually ask when will it stop?
Bad things will happen to all of us at some point. It is up to us to determine how we will deal with it. I understand that sometimes life’s hardships hit us and we may blame God for them. My feeling on this is that we should not blame God, but go to God. These adversities can make us stronger as long as we let God be in control.
A couple of illustrations of true stories. In first one I will leave out names and some details as most of the information is not public knowledge and I would not want to offend one of my faithful readers. A young man, husband and father was on the verge of losing his family. His wife was tired of the their life and they were struggling in many ways. He had prayed many times for guidance, but each prayer seemed to go unanswered. As each day went by things got worse. Eventually he stopped praying for guidance and prayed for deliverance. He admitted it was not guidance he needed, but for God to come in and take control. As he admitted this in prayer he felt the weight of his adversity lift off. He felt the relief and comfort. A few hours later his wife and he came to terms with their problems and they started to make progress on their issues. God still continues to work in their life as they overcome their adversities.
The next story is about one of my favorite songs. The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by Horatio Spafford. This song was inspired by a number of traumatic events in his life. The first is the death of his 4 year old son in the year 1871, then he was financially devastated by the great Chicago fire that same year. In 1873 there was a financial downturn that further devastated his finances. As he was dealing with that and other business, his family went ahead on the planned a trip to Europe, leaving him behind. While his wife and four daughters traveled their ship they were on sank. His wife was the only member of his family to survive. When she reached port she sent him a telegram that stated “Saved Alone”. He set sail to meet his wife and as he passed the spot of the tragic loss he was inspired to write the song.
We have to ask our self in the face of adversity is it well with our soul? If not then we need to look to God and work to strengthen our relationship with him. There are many problems in our lives, communities, country and world. Turning to God accepting his authority over us and our lives will allow for one to better handle adversity. In Psalm 137 the Babylonians had taken the Israelites captive. Obviously Israel was not happy and were very depressed about the situation. They had stopped sing and playing.
Psalm 137: 1-2
1 By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.
2 Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps.
Israel had disobeyed God. Israel was facing adversity. Just like we sometimes do today we forget about what we need to do in our relationship with God. We forget that even in adversity we need to sing praises and play the harp in our soul. Today I ask you are you facing adversity? If so where is your harp?