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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Singing with Angels

When I asked Jim about his cancer, a contented, peaceful smile formed on his face. “So far. So good. No recurrence. The doctor says the cancer in my tongue has disappeared.”

Jim hesitated before changing gears. “I’ve never felt God’s presence like I did when on the radiation table.”

He scratched his head. “I’m claustrophobic and I get anxious when I feel trapped. When you have radiation, they strap you to a table.”

He stared past me into the memories he was reliving. “They fastened me in place, covered my face with a plastic mask and bolted me to the table. The techs would leave and seal the door. I was alone, unable to move, feeling like a prisoner. I would hear a click followed by a dull, metallic sound. That’s when I knew the radiation started.”

Jim grabbed his wife’s hand and then continued. “I got through it because my wife recorded some praise tapes. With my worship music cranking on my phone, all I could do was pray and get lost in the music. When I did, the strangest thing happened.”

Wiping a tear from his eye, he said. “I heard the most beautiful voice, singing right beside me. I couldn’t see him through my mask, but I knew God sent an angel to watch over me.”

Trapped by Our Trials?

Sometimes we feel like Jim, confined by our circumstances. Physical afflictions, financial pressures, and strained relationships trap us in a corner. Our discouraged minds tell us we are helpless, alone and forgotten. Doubt clouds our thinking. We wonder if God — or anyone – cares.

When we experience these emotions, we should follow Jim’s example. He refused to be victimized by his circumstances. He did the one thing he could do – respond in faith. He prayed, worshipped, and drew upon God’s grace. When he did, God’s presence became tangible. An angel worshiped with him singing their victory through the dull humming sounds of the radiation.

When our difficulties restrain us, we can always give praise. We can express God’s faithfulness, love, and adequacy. We can remind ourselves how God controls every detail of our lives, how He provides for our needs and how His love never gives up on us.

Jim learned how to bring God’s presence into his adversity. The only thing Jim could do, while trapped on the table, was use his secret weapon. Worship.

In the Bible, we read about Paul and Silas incarcerated in a Philippian jail. When they offered up their praises, God freed them from their chains. But God doesn’t always deliver us from our troubles. Sometimes, He brings us through adversity.

In another story, three men — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – were shackled with ropes and thrown into a fiery furnace. They honored God instead of bowing before an idol. In the fire, the Lord showed up — in person. He preserved their lives and released them from their shackles. Through their trial, God changed them.

Prayer and praise helped Paul and Silas, the three men in the fire, and my friend Jim. No matter how pinned down we feel, we are not trapped by our circumstances. We can respond to His promises, approach His throne, and break free. We can pray, worship, and invite the One who inhabits our praises into our adversity.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV).

Copyright © 2019 Charles W Page M.D., used with permission.

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