I would like to share some verses with you that are very near to my heart–in fact, you could call them life changing.
“O my soul, why be so gloomy and discouraged? Trust in God! I shall again praise him for his wondrous help; he will make me smile again, for he is my God.” Psalm 43:5 (Living Bible.)
“Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I WILL rejoice in the Lord; I WILL BE HAPPY in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18. (Living Bible).
One of the awful things about Multi-Chemical Sensitivity is the near constant pain. I can remember watching the second hand moving slowly over the face of the clock and trying to convince myself that I could endure the pain for ten more seconds. That’s how I got through some days–seconds at a time. When you’re facing a painful, chronic illness, it’s easy for your heart to get frozen over with gloom and despair. It’s as if you’re trapped in a dark winter with no way out.
One day, I was battling another bleak, painful day when I heard a voice deep in my soul whispering, “I want you to sing.” I knew I was hearing the Lord, but I didn’t like what he was saying. I was angry at God, and I didn’t feel like praising him. What did I have to be thankful for? Why should I praise a God who allowed me to be hurt? Needless to say, I ignored the voice and hoped it would go away–but it didn’t. Day after day, I heard the same message repeated: “I want you to sing.” Finally, just to get some peace, I opened my mouth and sang. My voice was wobbly, and I didn’t mean the words I was singing, but after several minutes I felt tears on my face. I didn’t know it then, but my personal thaw had begun.
I continued singing every day, and months later, I felt a strange emotion. I froze and analyzed the feeling. I realized it was happiness. I put my fingers to my lips and felt a smile. I had never realized that a person could get so frozen over with despair that they could forget the feeling of happiness, but that’s what had happened to me. I continued singing, and over the next several months, the happy feeling became more predominate.
In my former anger, I had written off worship as a way for an egomaniacal God to get his pride stroked. But as I felt happiness slipping back into my heart, I realized there was more to singing than met the eye. 1 John 1:8, says God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:5, says love is not self-seeking. If God is love, and love isn’t characterized by self-seeking pride, then worship must be about more than God getting “props.”
One thing about being in quarantine is it gives you time to think, and I thought a lot about God, and worship, and my personal thaw. I live in the plains of Colorado, and every spring, a Chinook wind will blow that helps melt the snow and warm the land. The more I thought, the more I realized that worship is God’s Chinook wind. When we worship God, his spirit works its way into the frozen corners of our heart and ushers in spring. GOD IS LOVE, and everything he does, is characterized by love. He doesn’t ask to be worshiped just for HIS benefit–but for OURS.
I can honestly say that I am happy now, and my personal winter is over. Smiling feels natural, and praise songs are playing constantly in the back of my mind. Although I’m getting better, my happiness didn’t come because of a change in my circumstances or a dissolving of pain–it came because I began to sing. And when I sang, God reached down into the frozen corners of my heart and brought spring.