Sometimes I’m singing and the words of a song just don’t match up with what I’m feeling. Maybe a song goes “I feel Your peace now,” but instead my feelings are roiling inside. Maybe a song goes “Nothing will separate me from Your love,” but I feel I’m standing across a chasm from God’s presence. In both situations I feel like falling to my knees and crying because of the incongruity, and I feel like a hypocrite proclaiming one thing while experiencing another. In the end, I end up questioning why people should believe me when I proclaim the Gospel of Jesus when I myself don’t act like it works.
Do you ever feel this way?
I was sitting outside a church parking lot right now while waiting to meet with someone. The sign periodically changes to show an announcement or a Scripture. And as I was sitting there, I long for that Scripture to speak to me. This is what appeared:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 NET
Sometimes I get tired of being told to “have faith,” especially in the face of pain. Pain is a strong, stinging, and burning feeling that overpowers faith, at least for me, and at least in the heat of the moment when its intensity surpasses what I can handle. So what is “have faith” when pain takes up all the space in my hands? What is “faith” when it relies on believing what’s not present but denying the sorrow and worry that burden my shoulders with a very real weight?
Those are the things I think about when I sing words unfitting to my feelings in the worship songs that praise God’s greatness I don’t see, His deeds I don’t experience, and His love I don’t feel.
But maybe that’s okay. I’ll explore why in the next post.