On Wednesday evenings, I have the privilege to spend 90 minutes with 5th and 6th grade girls in Pioneer Club. Part of our time together is used to explore the Word of God and for another segment of time we are involved in a project or activity. We do things like sewing, candle making, woodworking, playing games, and learning about etiquette. This month our focus is on First Aid. Two wonderful nurses have joined our class and shared the importance of knowing what to do in a medical emergency and how to respond in different situations. The girls have learned that while our natural tendencies are to freak out or be afraid, the response that is needed is to remain calm.
Remaining calm is a great life skill. It’s not only necessary in medical emergencies, but is extremely helpful in other situations as well. It is important to remain calm when we don’t get our way, when everything is falling apart, when relationships are tense, and when we are under pressure. Staying calm is a great response in almost any setting.
There’s another wonderful way to respond to situations in life that’s recorded for us throughout scripture. Let’s start in Genesis. We read in chapter 24 about Abraham sending his assistant on a mission to find a wife for his son, Isaac. The servant asks God to give him success in this task and when it becomes clear to him that the Lord has provided, his response is to bow down and worship Him.
In Exodus 12 in the midst of a series of plagues God brought upon the Egyptians, Moses meets with the Israelites and explains to them what’s going to happen with the 10th plague. He gives them direction regarding the Passover lamb, strange bread that they are supposed to prepare, and how to paint their doorposts with blood. They didn’t complain about all the rules and requirements, they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord in response.
In the second book of Samuel, we read a scandalous story of King David taking another man’s wife for himself, the woman becoming pregnant, David arranging for the woman’s husband to be killed, and a prophecy that the child to be born would die. David repents of his sins and pleads for the child’s life through prayer and fasting, but the child dies anyway. At the news of the infant’s death, David responds by getting up, taking a shower, changing his clothes, and going to the house of the Lord to worship.
In 2 Chronicles 20 we read of a great army coming against God’s people and King Jehoshaphat. They didn’t know what to do, but they fell down before the Lord and worshiped Him.
There are many times in our lives when we don’t know what to do and worship is probably the last thing on our minds. We don’t know what to do when our career is stripped away. We don’t know what to do when a medical diagnosis is not what we hoped for. We don’t know what to do when a prayer seems to go unanswered, when nothing ever goes as planned, when disaster strikes, when a loved one takes their own life. Remaining calm is a good start. But worship is always the best response.
No matter if you find yourself in the midst of joy or turmoil. God is still God and worthy of our praise. Next time you are tempted to shake your fists at Him or turn your back and walk away, try worshiping Him instead. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! For the Lord is good and his steadfast love endures forever!