Peace, When Trouble Blows

Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows.

I’ve been part of countless worship services, and experienced many amazing worship moments. But for me, there’s still one that stands apart. It was at the bedside of one of my worship team vocalists, just a couple days before Jesus took her home. Free from ALS. Free to dance, sing and laugh in His presence. Free to run into His arms.

Pam was a jewel. The kind of lady that just seemed to naturally make everything and everyone around her better. A wonderful mom to two teenagers. An amazing extended mom to so many of their friends. An incredible wife. A faithful friend to so many. So full of life. So in love with Jesus. So committed to our church and our people. And to our worship team.

It was heartbreaking to hear the news of her illness. And to see her gradually lose her strength, her energy, her ability to walk, to move. But she never lost her smile. Her love for Jesus. Her love for us.

The last time Pam was able to come to church, Melody, one of our other vocalists on the team, sang a special song for her, a song called “Healing Oil” by Crystal Lewis.

Melody made it about halfway through before she broke down in tears. I took over for her and was barely able to make it through myself—only because I had shed so many tears already, rehearsing the song a few days before. But I remember sitting at the keyboard, looking out and seeing Pam in her wheelchair, weeping, smiling and mouthing the words to Melody, “It’s OK. It’s OK.” That’s what Pam did. She made everything OK.

A couple weeks later, knowing it was now just a matter of days, Pam’s husband and kids invited our worship team to their home, to gather around her bed, and just worship. We sang all of Pam’s favorite worship songs, especially her absolute favorite: a song called “Peace” from Integrity’s Rejoice Africa project. (Please excuse the VHS low-res video quality and the early 90s styles, especially Lionel’s shirt. If it distracts you too much, don’t look. Just close your eyes. And listen.)

As we worshiped, I watched Pam mouth the words, arm propped up by a pillow and hand raised in worship, her knee underneath the covers, bouncing to the tropical beat. And her smile. Her ever-present, radiant, peaceful smile. I’ll remember it always. And I will see her smile again, when we all sit down and sing this song once more together. At the feet of Him Who sees, hears and knows.

Until then, I didn’t really understand Psalm 116: 15.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.

But I understood it that day. And worship has never been sweeter.

Peace, when trouble blows
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows
He is my Peace, when sorrow nears
Jehovah sees, Jehovah hears

Like the breath I need to live
Jehovah takes, Jehovah gives
Gives me peace, when trouble blows
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows.

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As a songwriter, worship leader and a member of the marketing team, Paul is connected to CCLI in every possible way. Paul serves as CCLI’s Content Creator in the U.S. Service Center in Vancouver, Washington. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from George Fox University and has served as a marketing/communications specialist and a worship leader for a number of churches and ministries.

1 COMMENT

  1. As Worshipfuel’s “Editor in Chief” I hesitated–for half a second–about putting out something so raw on a beautiful spring day. It reminded me too much of young friends I’ve lost. But there’s a fundamental truth here that’s worth posting: In our faith we share joy as well as sorrow, and God makes it all work together somehow… in His wondrous, never-ending way.

    Use Replies and Comments to thank Paul for sharing his memories and thoughts with us.

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