Wednesday evening on my drive home from work, something odd happened. I was driving on Lorton Road when the song "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns came on my radio. If you are not familiar with the song, look up the lyrics on the internet, or listen on I-Tunes, or something. It is a powerful song about praising God in the midst of bad times. I really like the song and was singing along until mid-way through the first verse - as far as I got was:
I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down,
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen,
and its still raining.
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you."
Then I just started to cry. Driving along by myself, I just couldn't stop crying. I tried to keep singing and I would get it back together every now and then, only to lose it again. I was (and am) confused. I have no idea why this was so powerful right then - what storm? What does this relate to?
Anyway, I had the strongest desire to stop my car right there and call a friend. I had the entire conversation in my head:
Jimmy, this is Tony. I need you to do something for me.
Sure, buddy, what is it?
I need you to help me sing Praise You In This Storm at church on Sunday. I don't think I can make it through the whole song without breaking down.
I didn't know you were supposed to be singing. That's great.
I'm not, yet.
Umm, Tony, it doesn't work that way. If it is not planned out, you can't just call on Wednesday about singing on Sunday. There are rehearsals, the band has to learn the music, someone else is probably already scheduled to sing.
I know, but for some reason I need to do this. I will get that other stuff taken care of, if you'll sing it with me . . . .
Of course, I didn't actually stop the car. I never called Jimmy. None of it made sense. Why did it seem so important? I haven't sung for people in decades. There is a schedule, and rehearsals, and auditions. The songs are picked in advance to more or less go with the sermon. It was crazy.
I thought about it again on Thursday. And again on Friday. But I never did talk to Jimmy. I never did figure out what was going on and decided I'd just tell Jimmy about it the next time I saw him.
In church this morning, I sat next to some friends on the side of the church that I usually sit on. When I looked directly across the church, I could see Jimmy and his family. At the end of the sermon, as we went to prayer, I saw the band coming back in and saw Jimmy stand up and walk to the front of the church.
Jimmy sang this morning.
He sang "Praise You In This Storm."