During service this past Sunday, my Pastor, J. Jasper Wilkins, Jr. reminded us “converted saints” of the time in the club when our jam would be played, and our subsequent reaction. Consequently, the news has been a buzz about a nine year old boy kidnapped while playing in his front yard. He was pulled into a car by an unknown man and instructed to be silent. During the three hour ordeal, the young boy sang the lyrics to “Every Praise” by Hezekiah Walker. Amidst the threats from his kidnapper to cease, he continued to sing. He was thereafter released, found his way to a home and requested that his guardian be contacted. His bravery is astounding to me; but perhaps more importantly, my takeaway from a nine year old is that he knew who to call in the time of trouble. My question is, do you?
I don’t know the youngster’s regimen. It is unclear if he falls under the category the saints often identify as a “church boy.” Those around him may have already had the pleasure of seeing his gifts in the Kingdom manifest or at the very least, witness a glimpse of their operation. Whatever the case, something intuitively instructed him to be bold and audacious enough to ignore the pleas of his imminent enemy and trust in that whom he could not see nor physically touch. I am not privy to the child’s history, whether he has experienced a happy childhood or a difficult one. In many ways, his experience is not very different from any of us. Regardless of what his personal circumstances have presented, he remained faithful to believe that praise nor matter the obstacle can provide a way of escape.
As adults, as believers, as saints, we are presented daily with a choice. An election to believe what we are experiencing or a rejection to believe God despite what we are experiencing. My first reaction when I experience trouble is not always to call on the name of Christ. I have gotten more astute over my faith walk. When I’m paying attention and on guard I can see the tricks of the enemy afar off and enter into further preparation to endure. Other times, I’m not on my game, and I’m taken aback, walking around with an invisible fiery dart smack dab in the middle of my forehead. However, if my ethic of praise and worship is consistent, whether taken by surprise or force, I will enter in humming at minimum Romans 8:37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Earlier, in v35, the Apostle Paul named a few of the “these things” as he wrote: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” You may insert whatever your issue, your cross, your kidnapping into this verse with assurance that you can not only conquer “it” but “more” than conquer it. Why? Because the victory has already been won! The finality, despite your present circumstance has been pronounced. This is what the seasoned saints meant by “walking it out.”
A few of my very close sisters in Christ have been going through. The attacks are swift, continuous and intentional. There has been little space in between breaths to prepare for the next arrow. To one I said, “I don’t know another to call on but Jesus. That’s all I got.” In that moment, weeping with her, I wasn’t minimizing or mocking the attack and trauma she was experiencing. No, quite the opposite. My “m.o.” has been that when life is so contrarily out of control and I am living the sufferings moment by moment, I have no other option but to call on the name that can save, deliver, set free, comfort, sustain, establish and heal. Does my trouble dissipate immediately? Sometimes. Other times, not so much. But it doesn’t mean that I will shut my mouth. If that nine year old boy can do it, so can we!
Want to know what God’s jam is? When he hears us calling out to him, affirming who he is! He leans in when we say, Hosanna, Glory to God, Lord You are Awesome, Thank you, There is none like you, You are Mighty, You are a Healer, You are Sovereign, You are Glorious, You are Jehovah, You are all that I need you to be and MORE! These declarations get God’s attention and when we get his attention, we receive his assurance and enter into relationship and worship with him.
What is your “jam” when you’re in a jam? I’d love to know. Check out Willie Myrick singing his jam, “Every Praise!”