I worked late tonight. It’s been a long day at the start of what promises to be a long week. I said goodnight to my coworker and flopped into the car, breathing a heavy sigh as I turned on the ignition and backed out of my parking space.
The radio was on but I wasn’t really listening. I was already thinking about what I had to do when I got home if I had any hopes of getting to bed early.
Then a word caught my attention – Afghanistan.
The man calling in to make a request was in Afghanistan and he wanted to hear a song. I’m not going to pretend to know how that happened or if the show was pre-recorded or what.
But he asked for Casting Crowns‘ Praise You In This Storm. It gets the guys through the day, he says. They’ve had a lot of losses recently and the song helps.
To be honest, I’ve kind of tired of the song. It seemed like every time I turned on the radio it was playing. This time was different. This time the DJ said goodbye to the soldier on the other end of the phone – the soldier half a world away fighting a war that’s gone on for a decade. This time the song became an anthem, a prayer, a whirlwind of thoughts.
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
God, I was sure by now you would have reached down and brought these men and women home. You can do that. Bring us peace …
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining
Raining bullets and danger on soldiers who are doing their job but desperately want to see their families again …
As the thunder rolls
As the IED explodes and the crowds shout insults …
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
So much taken away … so many friends … lost … yet you are there … and here …
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
On an Afghani mountainside or in a too-silent house on a military base
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
Lord, my day seems so simple, so easy when I think about what this soldier faced today. But I know you’re walking me through the mundane steps of my day just as you are guiding him through the valley of the shadow of death. I’m sorry that I forget about that. May your peace settle in our hearts tonight and may peace be realized in your creation. Amen.