There's just enough of a kid in me that I really like those glass elevators they have in some hotels. You get in on the main floor and ascend to the top floor, while all the time you're watching the big things in the lobby become small things in the lobby. And the limited view you had down there suddenly turns panoramic. Or if you've been in one of the world's great skyscrapers, you may have tried some of those elevators. We're talking lobby to observation deck in seconds; rising scores of floors in less time than it takes to place some phone calls. So, at 10:02, you're down in the lobby or even the basement and at 10:03 you're looking out over the entire city — all because of an elevator.
Let's face it, we all have some days when we feel like we're stuck in the basement. The view isn't very inspiring and neither is the situation we're in. The good news is there is no basement so deep or gloomy that you have to stay there because there's an elevator.
It's the spiritual elevator many of God's leaders in the Bible knew about —like Daniel, for example. He's a top advisor to the most powerful man in the world, King Nebuchadnezzar. All of the king's pagan advisors have been unable to meet his demand, and they tell him they don't know what his disturbing dream meant. Of course, he'd also asked them to tell him what the dream was. Nobody could do that. So he sentences them to death — a sentence that applies even to Daniel, even though he wasn't there. So Daniel is literally staring at being executed. That's a dark basement!
Wisely, he recruits his spiritual brothers to "plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery" (Daniel 2:17). Then he steps into the spiritual elevator that takes him from the basement of his circumstances to the penthouse of his awesome God. That elevator is called "praising God."
In Daniel 2:19 it says, "Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: ‘Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes the times and seasons and sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise ... He reveals deep and hidden things ... and light dwells with Him ...’” See, Daniel is rising from the basement of his dangerous, impossible situation to the penthouse view from the Throne Room of the Most High God. And everything looks different from there!
Now, one of the secrets of peace in the midst of great stress, and of poise when everything is up for grabs, and of perspective when you could be freaking out, the secret is to start celebrating the kind of God you have. Remember, the Bible says you enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, not just with prayer requests.
The great prayers of the Bible are oftentimes two-thirds about the greatness of God and maybe one-third about the need. When you start telling God the things about Him that you love, the things He's done that you're grateful for, that anxiety in your heart starts to ebb and the peace in your heart starts to grow. You realize that the size of the situation and the size of the need don't change the size of your God at all.
Everyone and everything in your situation looks different from God's penthouse. You'll see the people differently. You'll see possibilities you haven't seen before. You'll have ideas you didn't have before. You'll have the peace that you couldn't have otherwise.
That's the power of praise — the elevator that takes you from the "basement" of earth-stuff to the "penthouse" of your awesome God!
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft 2021