Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. (Ps. 33:3)

WHAT’S THE WORST THING that can happen to a concert pianist? Losing the use of one’s hands. This is exactly what happened to Paul Wittgenstein. When World War I began, he was called into the Austrian army. During battle Paul was shot in the right elbow and captured by the Russians, who found it necessary to amputate his right arm. Was Paul’s career in music over? Not at all. While imprisoned, he wrote his old teacher, asking him to compose a concerto for the left hand. After the war, Paul resumed his concert tours and taught music.

David, the writer of many psalms, also experienced hardships that could have robbed him of his resilience. He was relentlessly pursued by King Saul, who wanted to take his life. When David became king, his son Absalom threatened to kill him. Even when David made wrong choices, he did not give up.

Bad things happen to all of us. You may be coming out of a calamity, in the middle of a stressful situation, or soon you may find yourself facing a hard place. That’s life. It’s not so much what happens to you but what you do with these situations that counts. Dig in your feet. Resolve to make life work for you. In the middle of your disappointment, ask God for a new song.

Compose your own psalm of praise to God.

Jewell Johnson lives in Arizona with her husband, LeRoy. They have six children and nine grandchildren. Besides writing, Jewell enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.