We sang it again at church today—“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh, my soul, worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh, my soul. Worship His holy name.”
Some songs make it so easy to worship. “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman has me at hello…er… I mean bless. That beautiful melody woven together with those inspirational lyrics usher me right into worship.
…until the one phrase that always makes me squirm just a smidge when I sing it. It’s one of those phrases that I hope is true for me. I want to be true for me. So I shut my eyes tight, pray it’s true for me (while also squeezing in a prayer that today’s not the day I have to find out), and sing, “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.”
In the brief moment it takes to sing those words, seemingly endless catastrophes flood my mind—terminal illnesses, fatal accidents, natural disasters, relational heartbreak, and so many more.
I sincerely pray that I’ll be able to “be singing” when those whatevers come…
…but what sort of whatevers might I face today?
Not long ago, I was teaching a piano lesson in the living room while my kids were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. As I wrapped up my lesson, I heard a gasp from the kitchen. And a splash. A big one. Dreading what I’d find, I rushed to see what had happened. Leftover chicken soup—almost a gallon because I’d made a double batch—had spilled all over the counter and behind appliances, gushing over the counter and down the cabinets, seeping into drawers and cupboards until the remains of it found a resting place pooled on the floor.
It was the most catastrophic kitchen event I’d ever seen.
I do not respond well to messes, especially in my kitchen. After a long day of work, I was exhausted, stressed, and mad. Not even Bounty, the quicker picker upper, was going to make this easier. Even so, I grabbed a roll of paper towels and despairingly began to wipe and degrease my kitchen. One never realizes how greasy chicken soup is until it has engulfed two-thirds of one’s kitchen.
After an hour of washing the counters, appliances, and the outside and inside of the cupboards, I was on all fours, finally cleaning the floor, when those lyrics floated into my mind: “Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
I don’t know why it hadn’t dawned on me before. Maybe my subconscious registered the kitchen disaster as a legitimate catastrophe and brought the lyrics to my mind. “Catastrophe?? I’ve got a song for this!” More likely, it was the Holy Spirit using a vulnerable moment to help me realize that whatevers are thrown at me all day, every day.
Every situation is an opportunity to worship—the good, the sad, and even the exasperating. It’s easy to worship in the good situations. In the sad ones, I can often remember to lift my broken heart in worship to God. But the irritating ones? The things that make me mad? That’s when it’s the hardest to turn my heart to praise.
The Lord is just as deserving of worship in times of anger as He is any other time, but the command to worship at all times is for us. Frustration can’t reside in a heart of praise, making worship a powerful tool for turning around our attitudes. What could become a downward spiral, leading to ugly words and hurt feelings, can become a moment of triumph over the enemy.
When I realized the soup debacle was a whatever, I did begin to praise. In spite of the previous hour during which I had grumbled and complained, I denied my natural inclination and began to sing. (It is never too late to turn around a bad attitude.)
What can you purpose to worship God in spite of today? Extra traffic when you’re already running late? A teenager who still hasn’t picked up her dirty laundry? A husband who comes home from work crabby? The toddler who unzips his jammies and takes off his diaper, leaving a mess in the crib? An unreasonable boss? A shopper who jumps in line ahead of you? If we want to be singing when big whatevers come, we must practice with the ones we’re given today.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before you, may you be singing when the evening comes.
A recovering perfectionist, Erica Horyza is learning to embrace God’s grace in the chaos of raising and homeschooling her four children. She loves sharing her journey with other women in the hope they will find grace, peace, and freedom in Jesus. She holds a B.A. in Church Music from North Central University, teaches piano lessons, and is a fitness instructor. Her heart is happiest around a table full of food with a house full of guests.