The quickest way to meet God is through praise. When we thank Him even in our difficulties, we give up something–our human desire to understand everything and our need to control the circumstances around us.
The Bible gives many illustrations of praise being an attitude that changes tragic events into great events. For example, look at Paul and Silas. (Acts 16:19-40). They sang hymns and praised God while they were in jail, before they knew what was going to happen! Anything but praise attributes more power to someone or something other than to God.
In unhappy or disastrous situations, God steps into our lives when we thank Him for the situation itself. Mostly, He changes us on the inside, changes our understanding of life.
It’s like looking at a negative of a photograph; the image looks backwards. The black looks white and the white looks black. We don’t understand. To develop the photograph, the negative is plunged into the developing solution. It becomes clearer and more correct. Darkness turns to light and the result is a truer picture.
When we praise God by an act of choice, by our own free will, we accept the present circumstances and take a positive position. By beginning to thank God even in hard times, we take our less-than-good situation and plunge it into the photographer’s fluid, which is the Presence of God. We may not see the results right away, but as we praise God and wait, we will meet Him.
Written after reading one of Catherine Marshall’s book