Sometimes we, like all God’s children, face heart wrenching brokenness. This brokenness typically comes from loss. Loss of family, loss of home, loss of love, even the loss of our family pets.. Loss comes in so very, very many heart breaking ways threatening to destroy our faith in a loving creator God.
Tragic heart wrenching personal losses can turn a sunny day into dreary night. Clouded with doubt, fear of the future and every uncertainty. It can bring fountains of non-ending tears pouring from the soul which asks why… Why me… Why now?
These were the tumultuous thoughts that tormented my grief stricken heart and mind all through the long night and into that Sunday morning church service after the unexpected death or our 2 day old grandson. Even though it was a lovely early summer morning, to our family it was grey… Just shades of unending dismal grey.
The music for the morning service was all praise and thanksgiving…Beautiful, uplifting… but my throat was dry and constricted… I could not bring out a sound… On the verge of tears, like my young grieving son and daughter-in-law … I said to the Lord, I’m sorry I cannot sing…just cannot sing…
Those who know me know I love to sing I live to sing for all occasions and events. It is part of my makeup… singing is a big part of my life. –But, this time was different. I could not, physically… could not. No sound would escape my parted lips.
And then the Lord spoke to me… I heard Him as He whispered into my heart with a voice full of compassion…
“Ingrid, I am your God. You praise me not because of what I have done, or what I may still do… I am to be praised because I am. Sometimes that means that praise is a sacrifice. Your sacrifice to Me.”
I opened my mouth and sang. My voice worked, tears rolled down my cheeks, but I raised my voice in praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty Lord God, creator of heaven and earth who heard the cry of my heart, the frustration of my soul and chose to reach down and touch my heart and teach me… that sometimes praise is truly a sacrifice.
It was a sacrifice to sing… but now I knew what that meant… and why I sing praises- even when life isn’t “perfect”. When life brings heart break.. It is because “He is”. As I sing joy fills my heart.
Can joy and grief be roommates in the heart? I thought not, but I was wrong. The Joy of the Lord overshadows sorrow and makes heart-wrenching loss bearable. God’s peace and joy work together… I was so blessed that day. I will never, never forget the feeling of His tender touch. The Creator God, touched my heart, my soul, my spirit and filled me with peace. Peace which really does go beyond understanding.
Many times over the years before and after this event(now over 21 years ago) did we sing “We bring the Sacrifice of Praise” I am so grateful that I now fully understand the meaning of the lyrics a “sacrifice of praise” and the peace that floods the soul through praise.
Psalm 27:6 “And now shall my head be lifted up above mine enemies (enemies can be translated as troubles or adversities) round about me; And I will offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto Jehovah.”