The little church family of which I am a part is working, as a whole, on becoming better at Scripture memorization. This month’s passage is Psalm 100:
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the LORD is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations. (NKJV)
I’ll be honest – I don’t much feel like singing joyful songs right now. I find myself doubtful of the enduring nature of His love, despite presenting a study earlier this week on faith and the trustworthiness of God’s character.
Though I have started to feel better physically, the emotional toll of being sick for the last month and a half is intense. Top that off with the death of Benson and the fact that my dog is in a lot of pain and may not be long for this world, and I’m a crabby mess. I want to scream. I want to throw things. Better yet, I’d like to cry. You know what, though? I can’t. No matter how long I sit here, the tears just won’t come. I envy people who experience the release of outward displays of emotion. It must be cathartic.
What on earth am I supposed to do, just sit here and miserably implode? No, thanks. I’ve got to find some sort of vent.
As I was reflecting on all of this, a thought came to me: can I sing in the rain? More importantly, will I sing in the rain?
It’s easy to sing joyfully when life is going well. It’s natural to call on God in the dark times. But to sing joyfully in that darkness? To open my mouth in praise when all I want to do is swear viciously? To actually stand and praise the God that could stop the pain? That’s another matter all together.
We are all of us confronted by what philosophers and theologians have called the Problem of Pain every single day. How do we make sense of the world? Of faith? Of God?
Do we turn from Him when we need Him the most?
When I lift my face, I see only clouds. Anxiety, frustration, doubt, fear, sadness. It begins as a drizzle but soon develops into a torrent. I have a choice to make. Stand still or tap my foot? Press my lips together or sing in a daring act of trust? Get wet or reach for the Umbrella?
It’s only a whisper, the barest hint of a voice. Audible only to the One who hears when I call.
I’m singin’ in the rain.