This is our testimony of how the Lord used the song “Aromimcha Elohai (I Will Exhalt You, My God)”[ Christene Jackman, based on Psalm 145]

 by the Rob Crawford Family

 

“I will exalt You, my God, the King-and I will bless Your Name forevermore”

The Lord inspired us with the song “Aromimcha Elohai-I Will Exhalt You, My God” by Christene Jackman, and showed us the number one reason for praise is to indeed lift up the Name of God, to show that we hold Him in the highest regard. We praise God because of who He is, not because of what He does for us (though the gifts of His hand are a deep, rich blessing). We praise God because of His Greatness and Glory.

When we were younger, we did think to praise God when we were happy, but praise seemed to be far from our lips when the trials were difficult. Oftentimes, life would get busy, or our minds would be focused on the very real problems of financial stability, sick babies, and long work hours for little pay. Too often as we sang in church, our minds would be far from the life-giving praise we really did need to lift up to God.  And we saw heartbreaking examples of people in tough situations for extended periods of time who didn’t connect with God, by  praising Him in tragedy. In this weakened state, they ended up blaming God for their pain, and turning from Him. In reality, He had His Hand extended all the time, but they never chose to take it.

“GREAT is the LORD, and greatly to be praised. I WILL exalt you, my God”

There was a point in our life, where everything was disrupted. We had recently worked very hard to reestablish bad credit. We had 2 separate family businesses, Rob did computer service and consulting for small businesses. He also took a job selling books for a christian company. None of these jobs yielded much,but God was good, and supplied our needs. It was at a cost, however-between the computer consulting, and book job, Rob was away from home for almost the entire week, day and night. Meanwhile, my parents died, and a huge family battle surrounded their deaths.  I was at the same time, sewing dolls for almost 8 hours a day, as well as homeschooling, and caring for little ones. We thought that if we could just get up out of the emotional, and financial hole we were in, it would all be worth it, and we tried to just keep going. Rob was so tired, and worked so hard, that family devotions were not regular. We had been christians for years. However, we didn’t gather with God to be refreshed. Maybe that would be a possibility once the bills were caught up, once Rob got another job,once we caught up on some sleep!!…does that sound familiar?

Then came a devastating setback: One of our computer clients decided not to pay. There wasn’t much we could do, and we couldn’t pay our mortgage that month. The true irony of life is that months of regular payments didn’t seem to count suddenly, and this missed payment, though we contacted the bank immediately, put our house into foreclosure. It’s a long story, and we did lose the house. Later we discovered there were unlawful foreclosures happening at that time, and we did receive a court settlement eventually. In the meantime, the very real question of how to survive with 8 children and no house bombarded us, and we were already very weak spiritually.

“The LORD is righteous in all His Ways, and gracious in all His Works”

We truly cried out to the Lord. It was a make or break moment. I know many people face this situation, and stop walking with God. But what point would there be to that, we asked ourselves? We lifted our voices to Him, He was our only hope,and we’d exhausted all our own strength months ago. And Praise God, He answered! He took us up into the proverbial wilderness, up into North Central North Dakota. It was a total spiritual reset for us. We were christians completely worn out trying to live life in our own strength.

Interestingly, God did was give Rob a job where he would be home every night. What a huge blessing. We were spiritually hungry and thirsty, and now Rob,through Jesus,could teach us from the Word. The curious, and proverb-like job was actually working on a pig farm! It was both humbling, and a little funny, how literal God’s lesson was for us: You are on the bottom now, so you can look up! 🙂

Life didn’t get easier up in North Dakota. It made Ohio of the past seem very easy. We were in the middle of nowhere, we had a failure to thrive baby. Then a house fire. Then we had to rewire the house. God brought loving people to help us, and yet, they were strangers. Then another baby-a frightening experience where he and I almost died. He was a preemie and had to be in hospital for 2 months. We were traveling to visit him one evening, and slid on the ice,broke a window, and spun into a ditch. Then around this time, over 2 years, Rob’s Mom and Dad both died. And through it all, God showed us how to praise.  Rob read a small book about praise, in which Charles Spurgeon said, “When you are happy, praise God. When you are sad, praise God. When you are angry, praise God! In all things, Praise God!

So no matter what, we made the decision to praise God. We purposely gathered with God to worship Him each evening. We asked God through His Holy Spirit to explain His Scriptures to us (something we’d taken for granted God did, but hadn’t literally asked Him before.) And we began to praise God for His Greatness. There are so many reasons to praise God! And in the praise, our souls healed.

“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him-to all who call upon Him in truth…”

Even though life was so critical, and difficult, somehow, it was different than before we moved to ND. We weren’t desperate in our trials anymore, God lifted us up above them. We were now feeling healthy and whole, instead of broken. We had deep peace instead of pain, and fatigue. The more time, real time, we spent with God, loving Him, the more uplifted we were. We weren’t going to do things our way anymore. No matter what it meant, we were going to do things God’s way.

It changed our life to truly lift God up to His rightful throne.

He has continued to do miracles in our life, and we are in a place with Him now we never imagined we’d be- life continues to be a challenge, but there is no more defeat because our focus is on our God, the King.

“I will exalt YOU, my God.”