The first few times I went back to church services after Mark died I spent most of the service crying, especially during worship. It can be difficult to wholeheartedly sing out the words of a familiar worship song when your heart has been torn in half. When I was in college at the University of Minnesota I was involved in Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and our Campus Director at the time, Adam Go, taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have received in my Christian walk. Adam described how in times of deep sorrow, or worry or distance from God he found it difficult to worship. He would ask himself if the words he were singing were true. He decided that on those days when it was hard to sing, he would sing them as a prayer, a prayer that God would work in his heart to make them feel true again.
So when a familiar song stings to sing, I think of that. Because you see, the words are true whether I feel that they are true or not. Even when I am broken and falling into pieces on the floor God is still who He says He is, God is still God.
On the Sunday morning when our worship team began to sing "Great is thy Faithfulness" it stung. Was my God faithful? If He is faithful, why did He not show me by healing my husband? Why if my God is faithful am I raising my children alone? I didn't sing the first round through, I sat in my chair and watched Grace beautifully belt out the familiar words:
"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow— Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"
I sat and I prayed that God would allow me in that moment to recall all of the times He provided, all of the times He strengthened, all of the times He comforted. And there He was, in that moment reminding me that He has given me all of the abilities, talents, intelligence, wisdom that I possess, that He gave me Mark, who brought so much more into my life than just himself and that He has continued to provide since Mark's passing. Even when I have a hard time trusting that God is working, He does not leave me, He is still faithful to the promises He has made. As Pastor Jeff asked us to stand and sing as a declaration of God's faithfulness I could not, rather I got out of my chair and fell to my knees. I sang and I prayed in worship of My God, My God that continues to wake me up in the morning and has given me the purpose of testifying to the work He has done and will continue to do. I was asked to come up onto the stage and share in a moment why I was moved to my knees, and I could simply share "God is faithful now, and He will forever be."
If you would like to hear the worship from that morning you can find the service at the following link. https://fb.watch/2nObhfiGUi/
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923