When We Can't Worship

There are times when worshipping God is difficult. Pain, disappointment, failure, unanswered prayer; it all can affect our worship and view of God. You might feel like God isn’t so good after all, like He’s forgotten you, or maybe doesn’t love you as much as you thought He did. Our ability to worship freely can be inhibited by a damaged belief about God. Whatever your situation, I can relate. 

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting down during Sunday morning worship. I’m full of confusion, anger, and disappointment. I found out that I didn’t get this job, which I really needed. I’ve been more or less out of work for months now and the money coming in has slowed to a dead halt. With it, my grip on the money we do have has gotten tighter and tighter. So much so that I didn’t tithe this month like I normally do (major confession).

While tithing and money is a topic for another time, the fear has been taking a hold on my life. I’m scared that the money is going to run out, and what little work I do have coming in will dry up completely. But not getting this job was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Even though I nod and smile at the well intentioned people telling me this just wasn’t the right job and a better one will come along soon, in this moment, I just don’t know if I believe them. I don’t believe that God is going to come through for me this time. And I just couldn’t worship Him feeling that.

Life really has a way of disrupting our peace. And I  don’t mean peace as in everything is going well and I don’t have a care in the world, but peace as in our trust in God stands the test of adversity, trials, loss, and pain. Peace that equips us with confidence and comfort despite the circumstances. True peace doesn’t need cliche Christianize assurances. It flows directly from a heavenly source. I can tell you that I don’t feel at peace with this situation right now. So where did it go?

Peace, faith, and our ability to worship all rest on our belief and relationship with God. If one of these areas are lacking, chances are our relationship with God has been strained, dulled, and weakened. So, I have to admit, my relationship with God has become a shadow of what it once was. I’ve been treating Him like some kind of magical genie in a bottle, rather than an all knowing and powerful God who loves me fiercely. Who has my best intentions at heart. Who knows what I need and will always provide for me even if it looks different from what I was expecting.

I don’t know what your relationship with the Father looks like right now. All I know is I realized that I can’t worship God because I don’t believe He deserves my love and worship. And that’s a terrifying place to be. The thing is, God more than deserves my love and worship. As I wouldn’t withhold love from my husband, why then would I from God? Because I didn’t get a job? Because I feel hurt? Because I experienced loss?

When I put it in perspective, it reveals how selfish and entitled I really am. How petty I am. I’ve blown off the dozens of blessings God has given to me in the past because this one time, I didn’t get what I thought I deserved. Makes me sound like a selfish brat doesn’t it?

We all get this way at one time or another. We think that God owes us something. But He owes us nothing. God is entitled to everything we have. We’re entitled to nothing. If we think that we can freely give or withhold our love and worship, we have another thing coming. He doesn’t need us. But we certainly need him. He is worthy. Not us. That’s worship. Acknowledging that we having nothing of worth to offer, but still giving God everything we have. It’s like the woman with the two copper coins. The lady dumping the perfume bottle onto Jesus’ head. The woman wiping Jesus’ feet with nothing but her tears and her hair. Worship is acknowledging God has worth and He is worthy, even when we feel anything but.

My inability to worship, was my backwards belief that I am more worthy than God. Yes, I am worthy of love and blessings and jobs. But when I don’t get the job, it doesn’t make God any less worthy of receiving my worship. Life isn’t always going to play out the way we think it should. Otherwise, you’ll always find yourself angry and sitting silent in a pew. And where will that get you?