For the greater part of my life, I have been involved in countless corporate worship experiences. And in those times, I find it most vital to examine my heart. Many times I have been guilty of singing for all the wrong reasons, my expression void of true worship. The past two years have been a time in which God has disassembled everything I thought I knew of true worship and started rebuilding my conceptions from the ground up.
I have faced situations this year where I felt the complete opposite of what was being sung. In no way did I feel happy or joyful, but instead felt confused, angry, hurt and depleted. I knew God was in the services I attended. Never once did I doubt that He was with me. And therein lies my revelation that came one night as I stood in the midst of a crowd of worshippers a few months ago.
I had just returned that day from a sudden trip home because my cousin had tragically died. I was completely empty, physically ill and unsure of where to stand. I was about to fall apart at any moment, but I still decided to attend my young adults group that night. I knew I wanted to be around the people I considered my family away from family. And so there I was, in the middle of a group of people who were singing to God about being joyful. Silently I prayed, “Show me how to worship you right now.”
And in that moment, God spoke to me. I felt Him saying, “I’m here. You’re here. That’s all you need to worship Me. Just be with Me. Let Me work on your heart and sort you out, let Me hold you. You don’t have to understand everything. Just let Me in.” And for the first time in a long time, I was simply silent in worship.
I realized that the power of worship was not in the words themselves, but in the very presence of God and the humble response of our hearts. Worship is a connection between humanity and divinity that can scarcely be contained in a 5-song worship set. And in our most vulnerable moment, the greatest opportunity for us to see God more clearly is presented.
Many times it takes moments like that to make us realize how fragile we are and how powerful He is. As stark as the contrast may be, there is deep beauty in it. It signifies a story of love and forgiveness, promises and trust, grace and redemption. It reveals a peace that has nothing to do with circumstance, and a healing power that cannot be fully explained, only experienced.
So why do I worship? I worship because He is worthy. I worship because He is present. I worship because He is so far beyond my grasp, yet so impossibly close to me. I worship because I know that the God I serve hears and knows and understands, and that He will never leave my side.