My Sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit.
A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Psalm 51:17

 

I’m hiding.

I’ve typed and deleted that phrase about four times.

Obviously, I don’t really want anyone to know I’m hiding.  It diminishes the point.

Here, in a sleepy Spanish village, with my husband and my two little boys… the proverbial covers are pulled over my head.  As Instagram tends to do, it tells but a portion of the story.  In this case, the fun of sun and family, but, still, the tears come steadily.  I don’t know how I’ll leave this safe house.  Tantrums are easier in private.

I won’t mince words, I’m angry at the Father… oddly, I didn’t delete that phrase even once.  He knows.  We’ve talked (at length).  My heart is aching.  Normally, I feel confident in my ability to deeply trust Him, no matter the path.  After all, He knows me…  All the secret places where I’ve tucked His promises.  All the face-on-the-floor moments when I’ve cried out the many “Whys”.  All the ugly parts I work tirelessly to hide from you, dear reader.  All the beautiful potential waiting for a brave face and a step of faith.  And He knows trusting Him is what I will inevitably do again.  But, right now, I’m taking my minute.  And I’m hiding.

And it’s not pretty.  I’m hurting and confused.  I’ve been thrown a few curve balls recently that have shaken my game.  Out of habit, I find myself talking to God, but I catch myself with a, “Hey, wait… I’m still really mad at you”.  Because sometimes we don’t feel like praising.  In fact, somedays we can barely muster a nod in His direction.  We have all felt alone, cheated, lost, stunned, broken, misunderstood and entitled to our resentment.  From every corner of the earth, there is pain and unthinkable tragedy.  Whether it’s a young woman lost in a sex trafficking nightmare or a shooting in a night club, finding the strength to worship can truly seem impossible.

YET, we’ve been told: “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15

A continual sacrifice of praise?

As a little girl, I used to cheerfully sing ”We bring the sacrifice of praise, into the house of the Lord…” along with a church full of people who also had no idea what they were talking about.  The “Sacrifice of Praise” isn’t easy breezy.  Don’t cheapen the gift.

  • The kind of praise we bring and place at the Father’s feet in the unbearable moments?
  • The worship we offer from the pit of those aching tears?
  • The trust we hand Him when we feel abandoned?

This is the SACRIFICE of praise that holds value – a worth we have dramatically underestimated.

Because this is it.

Right here.

On this earth.

In a heartbeat of a moment, by comparison to our eternity, HERE is where we get to CHOOSE to honor our Father when it’s contrary to our instincts.  Right in the midst of our mess, He knows us so well.  He accepts our pain, our fear, our anger… the natural outpouring from a world where the Father of Lies reigns with a malicious hand.  And when we mix all of that brokenness with our sacrifice of worship, it becomes a unique offering, relating something priceless up to our Father from this aching world.

In heaven, we won’t spend a second mustering up a desire to worship our King.  We will be so compelled to honor Him that the outflow of praise will be all we can do.

  • Heaven is where: “Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8
  • Heaven is where:  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have PASSED AWAY.” Revelation 21:4

The “former things” are, in fact, THESE moments when we throw our fists in the air and declare that we are tired and lost, BUT, FATHER, WE WILL PRAISE YOUR NAME STILL.  Here and now is where we fight to to bring THE sacrifice.

As I begin to understand how significant these hard days – the ones where we still choose to love Him – immeasurably mean to the heart of God, it helps me worship my way out of them.  And it makes me believe that there is yet value in this heavy-hearted world.

So whatever meager offering you feel you have today, bring it.  Honor Him with this beautiful sacrifice of praise.  Right now – THIS – is your chance to bring to His throne a most priceless painful present.


 

Time and again I return to this song.  I play it on repeat until I can sing it with the deep conviction of its everlasting truths.  It’s my go-to when I need to remember who He is and who I am in Him.