Sometimes, you think you’ll never sing again.
You look around you, at the 12-foot- tall waves of doubt, guilt or sorrow. God said He had plans to prosper you, to give you a future, but here on this sinking ship, you’re pretty sure life is going to crush you any minute.
You hang your head in your hands, and you picture how it ends, with you falling to the bottom, like a rock into the dark. It’s just a matter of time, only a matter of time. And what fool would dream of singing at a time like this?
The waves pound,
you think you’ll drown,
you’re losing ground …
but right about then,
you risk it: a sound.
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say …
Blessed by the name.
You take a risk, and you do the most absurd thing: You worship. Right there on the road marked with suffering, you lift up your head. With chin raised, and eyes ahead, you see Light. You sing–do you hear it now?–you sing right in the throes of sorrow.
The church does a good job of pretending that life is fine. Most of the songs we sing are happy ones. But the truth is this: Most of the songs in the Bible are written from a place that looks a lot like that boat of despair you’re sitting in. Take a look at the Psalms, if you’re curious.
I’m relearning this: full-bodied worship isn’t always about the happy song. Honest worship isn’t glossed-over with the pasted-on happy. Real worship is singing with our all, to the All in All.
It is singing out our praise, and even our pain;
it is singing with hope, and even with hang-ups;
it is singing our celebration, and even our sadness.
That is full, real, complete worship–when we give him every broken inch, not just our happy parts. And when we worship, maybe we could look out past the boat, onto the crashing waves in front of us.
I think I see Him there, just now, walking toward us. And it makes me feel like singing.
Today, I’m headed to that three-day retreat I told you about. I’ll be leading worship for some spectacular ladies. In any room where we worship–a retreat, a church service, a Bible study–a whole lot of people are walking that road marked with suffering.
Pray for us? That we would worship from our fullest, truest places?