Praising Through the Pain

standard October 9, 2018 4 responses

There are few things that move me to tears on a regular basis, but worship is definitely one of them.  I love to come together with other believers and offer the Lord my praise and worship with hands held high, singing with all my might.  When I think about God’s faithful love toward me, grateful tears automatically spring up inside me.

But there have also been times in my life when the tears have come from a place of pain.  I can distinctly remember standing in a worship service just months after my younger brother had died in a tragic car accident with my hands hiding my face as I uncontrollably sobbed into them.  The sanctuary was filled with beautiful voices singing “It Is Well with My Soul,” and I could not physically open my mouth to sing in that moment. I wondered if I would ever feel like praising again.

But as a faithful Savior so sweetly does, He wrapped His arms around me and began to heal my broken heart. Week by week I kept returning to worship and before long I was able to sing a little bit more, yet still with hot tears flowing down my cheeks. As the weeks turned into months, my desire to praise my Creator had returned and even though I was still grieving, I knew that my hope would always be in Him.  

Psalm 42 gives voice to this so perfectly by asking these very raw and real questions, “Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me?” But then answering with, “Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

Life can be cruel sometimes. It threatens to leave us in a great state of turmoil and utterly depressed, believing that we’ll never be able to sing praise again. But if we allow ourselves to grieve properly and hold fast to our Savior, before long we’ll find that we are able to praise Him even through the pain.

It has been over fifteen years since I lost my brother and I can tell you that I am once again exuberantly worshiping my God.  The tears still fall from time to time, but they’re mostly due to my gratitude for all that He’s done for me. I will forever put my hope in the One who saved me, my faithful God. 

When The Earth Keeps Spinning, But Your World Has Stopped

standard September 9, 2015 5 responses

Sometimes life is incredibly hard and there’s no getting around it. There are times when you go to bed with a broken heart, certain that the earth has quit spinning, only to wake up the next morning and find that it had the audacity to keep going even though your world has stopped.

Have you ever experienced this kind of pain?

Maybe you were carrying your first baby and were thrilled that God gave you the desires of your heart only to find out that you had miscarried and the doctor wants to know when would be a good time to schedule the D&C. ~  No, Lord! There is no good time to let go of this baby!

Or maybe you have spent the past several years building your family, trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible and out of the blue your husband tells you that he’s filing for a divorce.  ~ Please God, don’t let this be happening!

Or it could be that you received a phone call from the doctor’s office saying that they would rather you come in to discuss your test results.  ~ Help me, Jesus! I need You now!

Or what if the unthinkable has happened and you are given the devastating news that your loved one is simply gone. Their life is over.  ~ There was no time to even beg God for mercy.

This is part of My Story and it is now the story of a family in our community. A young man went on the football field on Friday night to play in his first high school game and he left the field fatally injured. It was a terrible accident.  ~ How can this be, Lord? How could it have happened? It’s just a game and now lives are forever changed.  ~ The family members and friends of the young man, his teammates and classmates, the opposing team members…all of these people have experienced their world stopping in an instant.

No matter the circumstance, it still remains that God is sovereign. Yes, you will hurt. Yes, you will cry rivers of tears (and you should!). Yes, your grief will threaten to paralyze you at times. But trust me on this: your God is faithful and you WILL experience joy again.

We serve a big God and He is big enough to handle your hurts and your questions. Take them to Him, like Job did. “If only my grief could be weighed and my devastation placed with it on a scale. For then it would outweigh the sand of the seas! That is why my words are rash.” (Job 6:2-3 HCSB) Call out and be honest before Him. God already knows how you feel, so give Him your pain.

After my brother, Jeremy, died it took me well over a year to begin dreaming dreams again. And longer still to sing “It Is Well With My Soul.” But day after day Jesus held me in His loving arms and slowly but surely made my soul well again. Eventually, I found that I wasn’t mad any longer that the earth was still spinning.  It didn’t bother me quite as bad to see people going about their everyday lives, completely unaware of my pain. I finally submitted to God’s sovereignty and found solace in the Word of God, especially Isaiah 55:8-9:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.
“For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

What’s even better is that a few verses later in Isaiah 55:12, we find a beautiful promise from our God:

“You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;”

Yes, my friend, there may be pain in the night and your personal world may have stopped spinning, but rest assured there is indeed JOY in the morning and He will once again peacefully guide you.

Jesus, you know our hearts and the pain we are experiencing. Wrap Your arms around us. Take this wrong and make it right. Restore our joy. Amen.

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