Sometimes, God speaks to you in the most unlikely of places. For me, it was at a stock-up trip to The Dollar Tree.
When I walked in the door, the sound of Aha singing their '80s hit "Take on Me" bled weakly from the store's sound system. Off to my left, squatting on the floor and stocking a rack with packs of gum, was a young man. He was singing along, thoroughly enjoying himself.
As I walked by, he looked up, smiled, and said, "Good morning!" He'd already had me smiling at his personal concert of one, but now, I felt the smile.
I did my shopping and went to the check out. What do you know... the singer was now at the register, as polite and happy as ever. I told him how much I enjoyed his singing, and that I wished I would have been close enough to hear if he hit the high note at the end. He laughed and said thanks, he really enjoyed his job.
Since I was the only one in line, we chatted a bit. I found out he'd recently moved to Vegas from Detroit. He'd had a good job there in a sheet metal plant. But like so many others he lost his job when the plant closed and he couldn't find a new position. So now, this young man (probably in his late twenties) was living with his grandparents and working at The Dollar Tree. And so happy about it that he was singing.
I've thought about that fellow a lot. He could have been a real sourpuss. He could have been rude and surly, taking his problems out on the world, making life miserable for everybody around him. But instead, he chose to sing. And because of that, not only did he feel good, but he made me feel good, as well.
While shopping for bargain household items, the Lord let me experience a powerful spiritual truth: Joy is much more powerful than despair.
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise." (Psalm 98:4 - King James Version)I love that we're exorted to make a joyful noise. Not being able to carry a tune is no excuse! Singing praise is about the joy in the experience, not the pureness of the sound.
"Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:18-20 - New Living Translation)Give thanks for everything. I'll be the first to admit, that's hard to do. But it's also why God encourages us to gather together and praise Him. There's so much power when one person lifts her voice in worship to the Lord, but when a community of believers worship together, it's a miraculous, bondage-breaking experience.
What about you? How has praising the Lord affected your life?
To enter today's giveaway...
To encourage you to make a joyful noise, today I'm giving away a very cool worship CD. To be entered, just leave a comment on this blog. Please leave an email address so we can contact you if you're the winner (include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc, can't phish your address). I'll pick a winner at random on October 28th. Remember, all comments left today will also be entered in our grand prize drawing on November 1st.