Also, if you are a regular reader, keep reading to find out the winner of the Mary Engelbreit photo album.
In the devotion, I promised to tell the story of another time perspective made all the difference. It starts back 12 years ago when my family moved from Phoenix to Charlotte, North Carolina due to my husband's job. We didn't have long to select a house, but honestly, it didn't take long to find one I loved.
For years I'd read Southern Living Magazine, and adored the south's tendency to paint interior house walls in vibrant colors. (In the southwest we have another traditional color: off-white. It's amazing how many hundreds of off-white shades there are..) Anyway, once I stepped in and saw the green and gold entrance, cranberry family room and dark blue bedroom, I was hooked. We made an offer two days after it went on the market. We were sure it would sell just as fast.
Our plan was to stay in Charlotte two years, then return to Phoenix. As our time in the south came to a close, we put that blue, green, gold, cranberry house on the market and held our hands out to receive the offers. After awhile we put our hands down, as no offers arrived. Week after week I'd try and make that house presentable with three little boys under the age of 8. It was a trying time on many levels.
Apparently, home buyers weren't as enthralled with all that color as I was. Our realtor strongly suggested we paint the interior of the house white, but we were just as convinced it wasn't necessary.
My husband moved back to Phoenix to start his new job, and I stayed in Charlotte, cleaning and picking up. Weeks turned into months and there was no sign of an offer. Tod came back one weekend and we painted the entrance white, thinking we could fool the buyers. It didn't happen. We dropped the price; still nothing. Not even a glimmer.
I was hopeless and helpless. There was nothing I could do to make anyone buy my home. I had tried and tried on my own, and things were getting worse. I poured my heart out to God, and felt a measure of peace, but still struggled with fear and despair.
During the worship time one Sunday, everything changed. That day, I sang as if I was standing in front of God's throne. I pictured Him mighty and powerful. I worshipped Him for His majesty. I praised Him for His strength and power. I honored Him for everything He is.
As I did that, the problem with my house started to get smaller. I realized my problem wasn't out of His control. He was big enough to handle it.
As God was magnified through praise, my problems were minimized. It was a matter of perspective. And I had previously lost it. The house didn't sell immediately with my newfound perspective. But my heart and understanding of praise changed forever.
In time, God provided renters who couldn't afford a to purchase a house. Within a few months, due to family difficulties, they left us with an unfinished rental contract and a still-colorful house. We finally had to paint the entire inside of the house white, and it did eventually sell. In spite of all the difficulties, we learned some amazing things about God we would not have learned otherwise. I especially learned the value of keeping perspective in tough times.
If you are facing a problem that seems out of your control, try praising God. Put some praise music on and sing. If you sound like a frog when you sing, then turn up the music louder.
Pick songs that speak of God's power and might. His ability to save you. In an instant. With a word. Nothing is too great for Him. I once heard, "If your problems are too big, your God is too small."
Sing songs that remind you of how big our God really is. If you are looking for some songs, I can recommend these:
Twila Paris - He is Exalted, We Bow Down, God is in Control
Phillips, Craig and Dean: Revelation Song, You are God Alone, Your Name
This God I will serve all my life!
Take a moment and post your favorite songs that glorify our God and tells of His majesty! We have so much to be thankful for!!!
Love and Thanksgiving hugs,
The winner of the Mary Engelbreit Photo Album is "Terry". Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address and I'll get your prize shipped out.
Thanks to everyone for posting your ideas.