You may have seen the movie “Happy Feet.” As the story line goes, an emperor penguin named Mumble is born into a tribe of penguins. Traditionally, the only way these Antarctic birds can find their soul mates is by singing a “heart song.” If the male penguin’s song matches the female’s, the two penguins have found their mate! But Mumble is born with a huge social disability: he can’t sing. He does have one outstanding talent, however: He can tap dance!
However this is a talent no other penguin in his tribe has ever seen before so his bouncy style is immediately rejected. However, Mumble decides their shunning him is not going to steal his joy. Instead of living in defeat and assuming he would never find love, Mumble chooses to rejoice anyway! He finds a group of penguins who accept his outlandish style of courtship. He eventually comes back to his tribe, and dances his way to the penguin wife of his dreams.
This is the choice parents get to make when a family situation seems to go off course. First of all, don’t get defeated by the rejection a teen can display, but make a choice to rejoice, no matter what your situation looks like. You can either stay down and under the situation or you can look at it as an overcomer. Make a decision to dance your way to victory. You have to send God your thank you notes in advance.
We see many times throughout Scripture that God sent the victory after His people thanked Him. When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into a putrid and dark dungeon with no hope of survival, their joy preceded and precipitated their breakthrough. They decided to exercise that power of praise in the middle of a life-threatening situation. Even though they had done nothing wrong, they didn’t get angry or embittered; they raised their voices in song.
This could not have been a natural response, because, sitting in a sewer and rat-filled dungeon, they had nothing to be happy about. Not only did their overcoming attitude precede their release from jail, but it also resulted in their jailer’s salvation. More people will get saved when Christians look like they are enjoying their salvation.
If your children decide to follow a path opposite to what the Word taught them, that’s not the time to throw in the towel and give up, although many parents do or definitely feel like it. Actually, this can be the beginning of a great opportunity. There is no testimony without a test. And, joy is a vital weapon in your spiritual arsenal. It is the bridge between the “amen” of your prayer and the “there it is” of your answer.
Praise is what you do while you are standing on God’s Word, waiting for Him to bring the victory. If you just stand there rigidly like a stick, there is no life in your prayers. You have to demonstrate to the Lord that you believe you received the answer at the moment you prayed, not when that child comes running back into your arms.
People demonstrate their passion at a football game, why not so much for the King of the Universe. That is the faith that pleases God, not the Thomas kind of faith that says “I will believe it when I see it.” God lives in your praises, and He brings life to you as you show Him you believe Him. Judah was always the tribe at the top of His list, since praise was their by-word.
Turn those days of waiting into days or worship. Don’t wonder why, just praise Him and remind Him of His promises. “You said….God…” It wasn’t you making it up, Acts 16:32 guarantees that you and all your household shall be saved.
Feature Image Happy Feet, 2006: Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures