When Worship is an Action, Not an Emotion
“She’s not coming home,” I whispered to my husband on a quiet August afternoon in 2013.
It was our first failed adoption and when we got the email that our placement had fallen through—everything in my body went limp. I thought this child was the one who would usher us into parenthood, but instead, the loss of her ushered us into a new kind of grief.
As if infertility wasn’t enough grief on its own.
We mourned and ached and crawled our way through the loss of our almost-daughter. For the first few weeks I felt so alone, so lost, so abandoned.
Why had God led us here only to taste more heartache?
It wasn’t until we traveled to Alaska and I met my friend, Meghan, on the edge of a small runway in Chickaloon—and she wrapped her arms around me, that I finally felt like maybe I would be okay.
The next morning I woke up in a tiny cabin in the wilds of Alaska—and I opened my Bible and trusted that God was going to teach me something new.
And He did. He taught me a new way to worship.
It was a worship of bowing low and choosing not to forget God and His goodness, even when everything in me ached.
The Hebrew word “barak” means to “kneel, bless”. It’s a word about worship, but it’s an action word—not an emotion word.
This matters because when life crashes, sometimes we need choices that don’t require stamina or emotional responses. We need actions to follow that can be done gently.
Slowly kneeling onto the floor. Opening your mouth and whispering words into the stillness.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Psalm 103:2
In this verse in Psalm 103 we see that to “barak” the Lord is to kneel before Him and bless Him. To name the true things of who He is– to list the things He has done.
Discipline, not feeling.
Too often we think about worship as something we feel with our emotions–but sometimes it needs to be something we do with our bodies, no matter what we feel. Sometimes we lift our hands because we’re acknowledging God. Sometimes we kneel because we’re making a choice.
Sometimes we have a million distractions, but we still decide to speak the remembrance of who God is and has been and will be.
I’m sharing this today because I need the reminder that worship doesn’t have to come from my own feelings or emotions. Of course, sometimes it does. But there is more than one way and I don’t have to feel like worshiping the Lord to do it.
I can gently, quietly, with discipline and chosen trust, decide to worship.
And when I make the choice to barak, there is deep healing that takes place in my heart and my life.
May you, dear friend, remember this truth as well. May your heart find healing in the discipline of worship.
Thank you for this. It is easy to feel like how can I worship and be authentic when my heart is not in it, but I think that is where the faith aspect of our walk with Christ comes in…trusting that one day our hearts will follow.