This week I have had the desire to have a conversation with my late father. He passed away eight years ago and although its has been eight years and the pain is not as intense, that longing and desire to hear his voice, to hear his laugh, and to spend time with him in this life is still there. Especially now as I see my destiny finally taking form. I want to share these life moments and hear his counsel and wisdom. When we have suffered a significant loss – whether that loss is the death of a loved one, the loss of our home, our job, our health, relationships, our dream – our hearts and souls are deeply wounded. And despite what some would say, the passing of time, by itself, will not bring us healing. Burying our feelings does not work. Neither does keeping busy or finding a “replacement” to fill our emptiness.
At one point in these eight years I wondered if I would ever again feel any joy, energy, or peace. I am sure most who have encountered tremendous loss wonder if life will ever again be normal. We worry sometimes that we’ve become a little bit crazy, or maybe that we are irreparably broken. The truth is that whether your loss was recent or a long time ago, you can know healing. You can work through your loss, and begin to feel truly alive again. And you can do that best when you are surrounded by the Spirit of God. And finding God in the midst of the pain and the suffering begins with the casket of loss. Finding yourself in that casket, where you’ve been waiting on God, wailing out to God, the one who captures your soul. In the casket is where You worship God.
In the midst of life’s losses, yes you can choose worship.
“Worship” is a common word. But what is worship really? Specifically, in the midst of grief, what does worship look like? In crying, you cry out for God’s help. In worship, you cry out for God. In comfort, you receive God’s strength. In worship, you receive God's comfort. Worship is wanting God more than wanting relief. Worship is finding God even when you don’t find answers. Worship is walking with God in the dark and having Him as the light of your soul. The Bible consistently invites us to worship God in the midst of suffering. Worship as the end result of suffering has always been the testimony of God’s people.
The story of Job in the Bible is one that I oftentimes used to describe my life. I haven't known that level of Jobs' calamity, but I have experienced major loss that made me feel as though I would loose my life. Job experienced, losing his wealth, his children, the Bible says this,
“Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.”(Job 1:20).
David says his suffering created a God-thirst.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
Suffering’s ultimate goal is worship: exalting and enjoying His love. This is when we’re nourished and empowered. Choosing to worship Him in the grief of the loss is choosing life despite our circumstances and not giving up or giving in. It is choosing healing; healing that can only be found in our Father. Its what saved me. Satan uses suffering to suck the life out of your soul. He did it to me, for the first time in my life suicide was an option of relief But God! He used the suffering to enliven my soul. The caskets of my life losses did not have to lead to the death of my faith, hope, and love; instead they should lead me to worshiping Him with my very life.
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