I learned that one of the most effective ways to work out of the pit I found myself in was to generate praise, even in the darkness.
Hebrews 13:15 (NLT) "...Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name."A sacrifice of praise.
Praise, even when it is the farthest thing from my human heart's bent and desire. To sacrifice what I humanly wanted to focus and center on, and instead turn my focus and direction to Him... in praise.
And so... during this time of personal darkness I created a playlist on my iPod that I titled "Darkness Praise". This playlist became my "go to" songs.
In the beginning...
These songs felt like my survival. I would play this playlist repeatedly, almost to the exclusion of any other songs. It was as if I needed them constantly infusing into my brain just to keep my thoughts in some sort of direction that was Truth centered. Praise centered. Hope centered.
As time passed...
I began to regain some mind and emotion clearing. I wasn't in quite such a difficult place. I began to understand more and more where I was and where I needed to be. I learned to recognize what I call "the spiral".
I could now sense when my thoughts and feelings were beginning to spiral me downward on a trend that did not land well if I didn't consciously choose to intervene and re-direct my thoughts.
By sacrifice. Praise. Truth.
During those times of "the spiral", I was/am drawn to this playlist.
I have found myself listening to this playlist, not in need of survival. Not even to gain solid footing as I begin to recognize "the spiral". Instead... in worship, gratitude, and thankfulness.
Each of these songs are now packed with such powerful truth and reminders of what HE alone has done in and for my heart.
Ps. 40: 2-3
(AMP) "He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord."
(MSG) "He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God."
I have learned that there is always a place for praise, even in the darkness.
Especially in the darkness.
Do you have a song or group of songs, or anything, that you are drawn to when things seem more difficult?