Since starting to know Jesus at age 15, I have always loved singing worship songs. I've got no talent in the vocal area but I love to sing and singing songs to God and about God has always brought me great joy. Words of old hymns and new poetry, the Psalms and declarations of the Lord, its always been a source of renewal for my spirit.
But now for the first time in my walk with the Lord, I am struggling to sing to Him. Songs about joy and blessing from the Lord don't feel honest right now. Songs of death and sin and brokenness make me weep. And I can't sing. I know that God is the same today as He was before I lost my son. And I know more than ever that His gift of forgiveness and love is Truth. He is eternally good and loving and faithful. But it doesn't always feel that way. Songs of pain and suffering ring true, but lead me to tears, not vocals. But this too, is worship. It is my necessary surrender to the God who is and continues to be. The great I AM. He continues to pour His love on me through my pain, and instead of staying away or waiting for me to come to Him, He comes to be with me. Jesus weeps with me and understands my suffering because He himself has suffered more.
There are songs that continue to ring joy into my heart. Songs of hope, of Christ returning to earth to make all things new, to bring healing. Songs of heaven's beauty and the glory of God that is there, shining so brightly there is no more need even for a sun. That is the hope I cling to. It is the song my heart can sing, even in my sorrow.
The Bible says we are to "offer a continual sacrifice of praise." In the past, my praise was interwoven with happiness. With positive emotion. In this season of tears and heartache, I'm so glad that God is bigger than my emotion. That who He is is not dependent on how I feel, or experiences I have had, or even what I think of Him. I'm grateful that I can worship God through tears as well as song, and through continually surrendering to Him the worldly claims I have my on my life and the lives of those I love. Through the Holy Spirit's strength alone, I have to make the choice now to worship God. To choose to follow Him as Lord. And it is hard. It hurts. It is a sacrifice. A true sacrifice of praise.