Last night, I attended a night of worship at a local church. The music was not particularly my styles, but it was good. I had to leave early however, because I was struggling so deeply. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t when I went (otherwise I wouldn’t have gone – duh!)
Upon further review (yes, yesterday was an NFL Sunday), I realized that this was a different time of worship and I am not sure that I like it. The reason, I went, was that I need to focus on Jesus; I need to be reminded about who God is. That is what I think of when I think of a night of worship.
The songs selected for last nights “event” (using Facebook lingo here), had the word “I” in them to many times. I wish I could remember them all. But it seemed to be more about us praising than it was about the object of our praise. It kind of reminded me of a pastor who once told me that he loved me unconditionally. I finally figured out that mean he didn’t really, because he had to keep telling me. Rather than talking about praise, let’s just do it!
I think that these songs were hard for me because, while my faith has remained strong, it has certainly been a struggle. My faith hasn’t been a struggle, but anytime someone wants me to get over my circumstances because of who God is, I crash. I firmly believe that I can have confident faith, and still be in the pain of grief. If the scales are going to be tipped towards praise in the midst of the circumstances, it is only going to be done by a genuine focus on the character of God and not by declaring that “Praise is what I do.”
In the songs and from the worship leader, I felt condemned for hurting so. I felt like he was implying that to allow circumstances to influence us was wrong. I don’t don’t know how you can avoid letting the death of your only child not affect you; it just wouldn’t be honest. I am convinced that standing before God, admitting my pain is worship. And when I am able to do this, “I” is not the main noun; I go because if who He is and not who I am.
I am thankful that he makes that possible.