Worship & Pain
If you're like me worship has taken on many forms throughout my life. I grew up in a super pentecostal church and worship was very lively and spirit filled. Nowadays I've figured out my own way of worshipping and have found a lot of freedom to express worship in my own way. Worship has always been something very close to my heart. It's my fast track to the presence of God and is very much a part of how I am wired to connect with Him.
Recently, I went through something painful. In the midst of this painful situation, in a corporate worship setting, I found myself having such a hard time connecting to what was happening in the room. It was a particularly powerful worship service too. Usually I can connect right away and enter in. I was wrestling with this and kept thinking, I just need to power through the pain and get to the praising. I tried that for a bit but that didn't feel right. My desire was to be able to do what I always do and get right into His presence but this pain could not be set aside for worship. I kept apologizing to God for not being able to enter into praise and then He spoke to me.
He said, "Worship, right now, looks like you letting me in. That's worship. I don't need your praises. I want you. I want you to let me in to comfort you." As you can imagine, immediate bawling ensued. God, so preciously, wanted to be near to me. I wanted to prove to Him that I could worship through the pain just as passionately as I usually do and He wanted me, as I was, in the pain. In fact, He wanted to come and be with me in my pain. What a precious and loving Father.
This experience gave me such a new perspective on worship. A lot of times we mask our pain or set it aside to worship and God's actually not asking us to do that. He's asking us to let Him into the pain. We want to put on a brave face for God and He's asking for our real, raw emotions.
I was reminded this week of God, the Comforter. I sadly don't think of God very often as the Comforter (I will now). The Comforter that genuinely longs to love on us like an earthly Father would his son or daughter when they are in pain. He wants to take us up into His arms and just hold us. He's not trying to solve it. He's not trying to fix it. He's just going to love on us. God doesn't need you to be brave. He just wants to be with you, in whatever state you are in, to comfort you.
Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child so I will comfort you.