What happens when hurt is the the only thing you have to bring to worship and the questions that haunt you may never be answered? If in His tender will God has allowed tragedy to come your way, what do you do with grief and sorrow that accompany these seasons?
I have been through trying seasons. My family has too. We’ve experienced sudden and tragic death.
We’ve known heartache from the loss of friendships and deeply invested relationships. I have personally experienced seasons of depression that have at times neutralized my joy.
For most of my life I’ve been in church. My Dad is still in ministry after decades of faithful service.
In that time, I’ve heard many sermons and countless encouragements to leave your troubles at the door so that you can meet with God. In other words, forget about what is going on in life so that you can worship Him.
That has always bugged me.
It has gnawed at my heart because I can’t leave my hurt at the door.
When depression is my daily “soulmate” how do I leave it behind?
When death steals relationships from us or destroys the lives of those whom we love, is disassociation the best course of meeting with God?
I’ve asked this question for years.
I’ve found the best thing I can do is to bring it all to Him.
If He breathed life into these dry bones and knows every hair on my head, I am confident that he can handle my anger and my defeat.
Hope is found not in forgetting about our troubles in an effort to distance myself from them and possibly have a moment’s reprieve.
Hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ and the fellowship that we enjoy with him in times of suffering, tragedy, and defeat. It is there in this communion of soul and spirit with the Son of God that our sufferings become the very means by which Jesus brings a greater comfort, a deeper affection, and a stronger foundation.
A couple of years ago my wife and I were in a very difficult season. It was taking a toll on our marriage. One day, my Dad called me to see how I was doing with everything. He had been prompted in his heart because he felt a heaviness in his spirit for me. For those who know my Dad, his river runs deep, but he sometimes is a man of few words. We finished our talk, and I fell apart. I was so moved by my dad’s affection for me. After drying the pool of tears on the floor where I was sitting this thought hit me like a ton of bricks. If this season of suffering prompted my Dad to call me like that, I’d go through the hurt again because the affection of my Dad far exceeded the pain I was experiencing. In fact, his love expressed like that strengthened me to continue on in faith in Christ.
Our sufferings are an opportunity to experience a deeper level of affection from The Father.
If we avoid Him during these seasons or avoid bringing them to Him, we might miss out on the blessing that can only be found in moments of lowliness and brokenness.
So come to the cross. Come to Jesus. Come to The Father and allow the sweet ministry of The Holy Spirit to draw you into the warm embrace of the one who gave it all so that He could give himself to you in this way.
I can tell you first hand that God is ready for our stuff. We don’t have to leave it at the threshold of worship. As a matter of fact, in bringing it to the cross we’re actually approaching the threshold of deeper communion with God.