Every Sunday morning for over 25 years, I’d open up a hymn book and sing.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art-all the classics. I sang these songs so much, I could probably chant em backwards, and often revert to them when rocking a sick baby to sleep or humming mindlessly through the dishes.
Back then, I rarely got emotional- it was just duty.
I was introduced to contemporary worship when I ‘snuck’ into a church setting outside of the one I grew up in. I was uncomfortable, but something about worship was so….powerful. Emotions would rise up in me and without wanting to, I’d cry. I’d feel closer to God in those moments, as if he were right in front of me, looking bigger than ever before. The world got smaller and his presence so big, I’d wonder that if I extended my hand, I could actually touch him.
Worship was one of the first steps that led me to meeting Jesus, and is often the first thing I suggest to someone who feels stuck in a religious cycle.
Worship was what carried me through 10 months of a financially dry season-when at times I’d wonder if my family would end up homeless.
Have you ever seen a large choir perform in a mega church? I love to gaze at each face-everyone sings with a smile with their hands extended and heads all lifted. But I imagine at times there has to be at least one who doesn’t feel like being there- they’d rather take off the mask, hang their head down low, step off stage, and give up. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see?
There are times I don’t feel like singing either, and so I don’t.
Jesus deserves every bit of praise we could ever give-but he also knew singing was for our benefit. According to this article, ( https://takelessons.com/live/singing/health-benefits-of-singing )
singing strengthens your immune system, lowers your stress levels, and is a natural anti-depressant.
I could give you all the facts as to why singing is one of the most important things you could ever do, but really I think at times, it just sucks. In our moments of grief and disappointment, we sing with raw and doubting faith.
King David knew those moments all to well-
Psalm 13:1-3a, 5-6
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day?
Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes: otherwise, I will sleep in death.
But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has treated me generously.
We at times, can feel abandoned by God.
Do you have a mustard seed of faith to lift up your praise towards him when family troubles or depression knocks on your door? I usually hide away in those moments, apart from my loved ones-and lift a tiny song.
Jesus sees you, right where you are, and will take you into his presence regardless of how you feel. That’s grace.