Imagine being forced to vacate your home. Darkness is upon your city and the mayor of your city tells you to get out. Get out now! The city is one violent scream of grief as death spreads through a never-before-seen sickness. You sense God’s peace, but also feel the palpable fear as the entire city rises in chaos to run. This has not been a happy stop in your journey of life, so you are glad to go but didn’t expect it to be so sudden. You pack in haste with not even a moment to consider where you will go, but knowing your departure will be permanent. You try to think clearly. You grab clothes, blankets, a few family treasures, and food for the journey.
Time is not on your side as the cries grow louder and more urgent. Get out now! Your spirit joins in the mantra certain that the window of opportunity may be closing.
And then you remember something you need not forget! You run for it as a family member calls from outside, “We have to go now!”
“Just wait,” you plead. “I must have one more thing.”
You will need your tambourine!
Such was the scene when Miriam and the rest of Israel left Egypt. So hasty was the departure, that they did not have time to put leaven in their bread. And yet, when they are certain they are free—the miraculous opening and closing of the Red Sea sealing their security—Miriam pulls out her tambourine! And the other women had them at the ready, too!
“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.” Exodus 15:20 (NLT)
A tambourine seems an odd thing to pack in the chaos and desperation of the exodus of over two million families…unless, you are just expecting God to do something mighty! It’s an odd thing to pack, unless you have known his deliverance in the past and anticipate it in the future!
In in our darkest situations, we must rise up in anticipation with a readiness to worship and celebrate. This spoke to me in the deepest marrow of my neediness for God. Today, you see, my ministry and personal finances are being assaulted by the gates of hell in a way I’ve not known before.
And I have to decide if I’m going to pack my tambourine in this dark night of chaos.
As I shared this in the back room of an unfamiliar church with my touring team today, I said, “Let’s worship right now. If only we had a tambourine!”
“There’s one right behind you,” said Blake. (Of course, there was!)
Overjoyed, I asked who would like to play it. Charmaine volunteered, but as our worship leader, Tim, picked up is guitar and began to play her face contorted in confusion. The song he began to play was slow and pleading—not what she anticipated after my rousing speech on having your heart of worship at the ready.
But Charmaine is a trooper. She listened to the pensive, steady rhythm of the song and found a sure and steady if not celebratory beat. It sounded almost threatening…taunting. Was their a hint of violence in the sound?
And my eyes were opened.
Miriam didn’t need that tambourine just for the victory dance. It was her weapon of warfare, too. In the dark days, she just may have beat out a slow and steady warning to the enemy that sounded a lot like the one Charmaine was pounding out now! A beat that was the battle cry for her Omnipotent God to win the war. A beat that foretold the celebration that she was sure would come, though she could not see how. I felt it full in my spirit as Charmaine beat that tambourine: Miriam’s tambourine was already well worn by the time she got to the Red Sea. She was just working up to the celebration by using it as a tool of strong warfare.
A woman who knows her God, packs her tambourine to praise God on both dark nights and the bright days!
After our time of worship, Charmaine shared something she read that morning which confirmed the experience God’s Spirit was unfolding for us. Pastor Jack Hayford writes this:
Praise is not intended to compliment God. Some people have confessed quite candidly that praise seems like an effort to curry God’s favor by soothing or massaging His heavenly ego.
But praise is not the blind pursuit of heavenly intervention. It is an instrument of violence.
It upsets the climate that furthers life’s suffering, confusion, turmoil, and strife.
Praise destroys the atmosphere in which sickness, disease, discouragement, and futility flourish.
Praise beats out hell’s brush fires and breathes heaven’s life into death’s vacuum.
Prayer Is Invading the Impossible
Do you long to be a woman who invades the impossible?
In April, I’m speaking in three cities throughout Pennsylvania for the Women of Purpose Spring Tour themed “Celebrate 2016.” If this blog post resonated with your heart, let me tell you why this event is what you need.
God prepared my heart to teach on celebration this Spring through a season of defeat last Fall. I’m a girl who knows how to pass on the glorious beauty of authentic celebration to another girl in need. What a God-timed assignment I have received from the Women of Purpose director Ruth Puleo to speak at these events! If you are a woman who needs to pack a tambourine, I hope you’ll consider joining me. My key note speeches are still being developed but something really special is stirring inside of me. I believe the entire event will give you the passion and specific tools you need to walk out of the valley of defeat and pick up your tambourine to fight and to celebrate! Register here today.