The tale of woe might seem long (the rescue is shorter) but I add a lot of paragraphs so it’s easier to read. You should be able to skim through quickly.
“I will give fervent thanks to the Lord…”
Psalms 109:30, NAB
In 1999, Leland and I faced a bad financial trial. EVERYTHING went wrong. He worked by contract, and the current one ended much earlier than expected.
Things began to fall apart financially until:
— we were 2-3 months behind on payments
— the bank wanted to know when we would pay the behind car notes on two vehicles, and were talking repossession
— the mortgage people were not communicating with one another, so each phone call was a living nightmare
— one mortgage person wanted to put us on a repayment schedule;
— the other wanted us set up for foreclosure;
— then later one sent the house to the Sheriff’s auction block;
— when I called about the auction block, one said I wouldn’t be in this mess if I weren’t a deadbeat and hung up on me. I was trying to explain we were already in their repayment program;
— dealing with the mortgage company put us 6 months behind when it all began to turn around (reason below*)
— we did not want to answer the telephone because credit card companies were pressuring us (pre-Caller ID)
— the unemployment check barely covered the rest of the debts
— we had nothing to live on after tithing, giving a small offering and paying those bills.Thank God for parents with well stocked pantry and freezers!
We could guarantee we would catch up the payments but no one was listening. There would be another contract. No one cared. It began to feel as if every demon in hell was working with the world’s finance system to take everything. We were losing our positive focus.
*One day we were given enough money to make two house payments. The mortgage company told us they would refuse it because it wasn’t the three we needed to catch up. I was told if I sent it, they would stamp it “declined” and sent it back.
That made us so mad, we decided to plant the money as a “seed”. That money was not enough to satisfy the mortgage company. It wasn’t enough for the car notes or credit cards either. If it had been, we would have made that payment. We decided to give it to God as an offering, trusting that He would provide a miracle.
That’s all we knew to do. While awaiting his next contract, we pumped up our faith by watching faith ministers on satellite (it was free), listening to faith-based audio and videotapes, reading the Word and faith-based books, all from our library (free).
One day, we heard the minister, T.D. Jakes, talking about what to do when times were rough and nothing was going right. Rev. Jakes said, “you need some crazy praise when it looks like nothing is going to work.”
Immediately, my husband and I jumped up, grabbed one another and jumped around in a circle, praising the Lord at the top of our lungs. We yelled at the devil and praised the Lord. We thanked Him for provision and answers. We yelled, danced, jumped, and basically, acted like idiots.
We gave God crazy praise. Man, did that feel good! We laughed and felt better than we had in a long time.
Later, we found that what Rev. Jakes meant was that when it looks like it is crazy to praise the Lord because everything is going wrong, that’s when you praise Him anyway! Whoops!
However, because of the pressure we were under that ecstatic jumping, yelling, dancing, and acting crazy caused us to laugh so much, we got our eyes off the problem and back on God. It changed our focus back to where it belonged. In faith, on Him.
After that, anytime one of us got down or under the thought attack that said “you’re gonna lose it all”, the other would grab them and say, “let’s have some crazy praise.” We couldn’t stay depressed during crazy praise. Even if one wanted to punch the other person out when they would try to initiate the crazy praise, a few times around and we’d both be praising God and laughing.
It was silly but it worked. It wasn’t how we did it, but that we did it. We praised God in the midst of our circumstances because we trusted Him instead what we saw.
Soon after that, the contract came through making twice the money, with a huge monthly per diem check. We would have to leave home for this short-term contract, but the money was enough to get us out of the hole we were in, plus some. Some time I will tell you all the miracles God performed during this time period.
We were able to catch up every debt, including that auction block (with a week to spare!). Most importantly, we opened a savings account and put in six months worth of living expenses – like God had told us to do the year before the contact ran out. *Ahem*
David had the right idea. In the King James version of Psalms 109:30 it says, “I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth”. The Strongs Concordance definition states that “greatly” means “vehemence.” To do something vehemently is to do it passionately, with enthusiasm, zeal, and fire.
See? Crazy Praise! We had His Word on it!