Rachel Dotzler – Student Pastor, Mesa Campus
“God. I’m angry at you for screwing this all up,” I said as I gazed up at the overcast sky that was peeking through the branches of the blooming, green tree.
Surrounded by an empty park and nothing but the sound of the wind whistling through the air, I said again “Did you hear me? I’m frustrated, I’m confused, I’m sad, and I’m just angry.” Was I expecting something to happen? Maybe a hot, burning ball of flames coming down from the sky to smite me down because I said I was angry at God?
I plugged in my headphones and turned on a playlist I made called, Reflection. I’m still laughing at myself because I’m not sure why I gave the playlist that name, that last thing I wanted to do was reflect. Tears started to well up in my eyes. Ugh, I hate when those darn wet things escape me, sometimes I think they have a mind of their own. I know some of you know what I am talking about. Why am I yelling at God, at a park, while listening to my music, wanting to be on my own, and…staring up at the sky? At the time I wasn’t sure, but now I know.
Worship has looked a little different for me these past couple months. For many of you, you read the word worship and you immediately go to an image in your mind that consists of hands being raised and voices singing a loud praise to God during church. I am not saying that’s not worship, but if that is the only time you are worshiping God, there’s a problem. I have come to realize that true worship is focusing our attention on who God is and then placing Him at the top of our list of priorities, all the time. Not when we are only happy, not when we “feel like it”…
All. The. Time.
I’ve been in a season of life that has me a little angry, a little frustrated, and a whole lot of confused. No, I’m not blaming God, but I did lash out at God because He is a good listener and I know He’s there. You see, that is what my posture of worship has looked like recently, sitting in the silence, telling God how I feel, because that alone has focused my attention on who God is. No matter the circumstances we are in, God is a God that is worthy to be praised and worshiped all the time. A worship pastor, Aaron Keyes said this,
“Worship is the prescription from the Divine Physician for our despair and depression. When we feel imprisoned by our emotions and feeling the dungeon of depression entangling us, a real key is to find the resolution and strength to worship God in the midst of that moment.”
Worship forces our own feelings aside so that we can experience the Divine Physician! It is the remedy from being entangled by our emotions, feelings, biases, conflict, whatever this looks like to you, worship is the remedy. We see this everywhere in the Bible, remember Paul and Silas? They were thrown into prison, flogged, beaten, placed in stocks, I can’t imagine the weight of despair that was on their shoulders, but in the midst of their circumstance, what did they do?
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25
PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS? Okay, because that makes total sense! What I love about Paul and Silas is that DID make sense to them! They knew the remedy to how they were feeling was worship. And we see in the next verse in Acts that worship literally freed them from their circumstance and feelings of despair. It opened the prison cells and turned people to Jesus. Worship displaces our feelings and puts our focus on who God is and sets him at the top of the list of our priorities. Worship has freed me from being trapped by my own emotions and feelings.
As I continue to recognize who God is even in my anger and frustration, He has left me with these words, “I know what you’re feeling and that’s okay. I will meet you where you are. Just know that I am God…because that is enough.” Are you continuing to worship God through your happiness, pain, confusion, anger, joy, sadness? Don’t wait to worship Him only on Sunday mornings, He desires to hear from you every minute of every day through a posture of worship whether that be silence, praying, listening, singing, playing music, reading, dancing, exercising, bring yourself to the feet of the King and lift His name, for He is the remedy.