There are some moments in our lives or rather some instances in our lives that leave us numb with pain- like we can’t feel anything ‘cos its too painful to think of or too hard to take- stony griefs.
I was feeling like this a couple of days ago- a feeling of being numb , like you’ve been through the worst or are going through the worst and your heart has just turned to stone. And today I was standing in the Chapel and singing this song along with the choir- ‘Out of my stony griefs, Bethel I’ll raise'( Nearer my God to Thee, Sarah Flower Adams), when that phrase hit me like a boulder to say the least. Its a hymn any regular church going Christian would know and would have sung atleast a zillion times in a lifetime, to say the least. So I could close my eyes and sing this song without having to look at the hymn book, I’ve sung this song and heard it so many times but those few words startled me today.
Here I was , standing in a place of worship and telling the God of the universe, how to go about His job of looking after me, and how disappointed I’ve been feeling recently with the way He’s doing it, and the songwriter says- Out of her stony griefs, she’ll raise Bethel’.
Ain’t that easy brother! Most of us just get bitter with the pain, the betrayal or the unfairness of life. Then what is she talking about?
Bethel in Hebrew means the ‘ house of God’. So essentially, when your ship is sinking, when the darkness closes in, when you feel betrayed by life, when the tears are flowing endlessly and when the pain is so intense, your insides have turned to stone- raise up the House of God in your heart – worship Him. Your deliverance is coming through. And that’s what I carried back with me after unloading all the weight at the altar, that our victory lies in raising up the house of God in whatever situation we are in right now and worship, lift your hands and heart and just worship- he’s nearer than you can imagine.
And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand. ( On Eagle’s wings, Josh Groban)
Most times it is difficult to imagine worshiping during the storm- but I guess that’s what we’re called to do, ‘cos He’s got it under control.