I love a good corn maze. In fact if I could I would go to a different corn maze every weekend during the fall. They are just that much fun to me. Corn mazes come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them are small and quite easy to manage. These are the ones that are very dry and the stalks are only about six to seven feet high. If you are on some hilly terrain then you can see above the stalks and navigating the maze can be quite easy. You really don't need the map. You can do these on your own.
But the ones that I like are the mazes where the stalks are green and lush and are at least nine to ten feet high. These are the kind that gives you the feeling that you are truly lost. I also prefer to do them at night with only the light of the moon and my flashlight to lead the way. Nothing beats being out in the middle of a corn maze on a cool, crisp fall evening! You need the maps on this one. You cannot do these alone.
Life is a lot like a corn maze (and a box of chocolates) because you never know what you're going to get. You are handed a map that will direct you through the maze. You are also told that there are treasures to find along the way. But once you are inside the maze it can begin to take on a shape all of its own and it looks nothing like the picture you viewed on the entrance board. This is where the temptation to break one of their cardinal rules comes into play. Let's run through the corn stalks and try a short cut.
Sometimes the seasons of our lives are quite easy to manage. It's daytime. Your career is going well. Your wife loves you. Bills are easily paid. Everyone is healthy and you get to take your family vacation every year! These are the seasons where "getting' your praise on" is extremely easy.
Other seasons of our lives are not so easy to manage. It's nighttime. You are stuck in a dead-end job. Your wife hates you. Bills are piling up. Sickness abounds in the home and you have no idea what the word "vacation" means. You seem to be following the map. You're following all of the rules and you are tempted to take a short cut. What makes matters worse is that you can hear others off in the maze of life finding their way out while you have no stinkin' idea how to get out but at least you are certain of one thing; you're stuck! Jealousy, envy, and anger can set in. Whatever enjoyment you found at the beginning of the journey has slowly been fading away and now you're just ticked off. Things are not going according to plan! If you hear one more person quote Jeremiah 29:11. . .And to top it off you can hear the cheers of those who made it in the distance!
This is the most challenging time in our lives to lift our hands and praise God. It goes against everything inside of our human nature to be happy when we feel crazed in the maze. This is when we must give praise in the maze. Our only hope of finding our way out is to lift our hands in complete surrender to the Lord and allow Him to help us find out way out. The map is still correct. God's Word has not changed. He is in control and He sees right where we are.
Psalm 34:1-3, "I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together." (NIV).
Acts 16:25-26, "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose." (NIV).
We have got to give praise in the maze because He is worthy. Praise Him in the morning, praise Him in the evening, and praise Him in the noontime. When you're lost; praise Him. When you don't have the money to make rent; praise Him. When you lose your job; praise Him. When the car breaks down. . .again; praise Him. When your school loans come due; praise Him. When you don't know when your next meal is coming; praise Him.When sickness hits your family; praise Him. When you lose your hair; praise Him.
When you feel all alone in the dark of night wandering around this maze of life; praise Him.
HE IS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! GIVE HIM PRAISE IN THE MAZE!
Jamie Zirkle currently resides with his wife and son in his hometown of Winchester, VA. He is licensed with the Assemblies of God. Jamie continues to serve as a lay leader in Victory Church while he waits on God to open the next ministry opportunity for him. You can read more articles from Jamie at his blog (http://jamiezirkle.wordpress.com/) and connect with him on LinkedIn