Last spring as I was working my way through Habakkuk for the first time, something a pastor said about grief really caught my attention and made me think about it in a whole new light.
It was Tullian Tchividjian whose words spoke powerfully, “Grief is an expression of worship.”
What he meant and went on to describe was that every feeling we have when we grieve is a declaration that this world is not our home, that something more exists and our hearts recognize and long for that. The mere feeling of grief is a way to worship God, testifying to his great plan for more, for true life. I hadn’t thought of that. I always thought of worship, if it came, as something that happens in spite of grief. But there’s an element of worship right there in my grief.
So what are we to do with that?
A little over a year ago, I experienced something that devastated my sense of God’s love for a little while. At ten weeks into a joyful surprise pregnancy, I lost the baby my heart (still) aches for. It was my second miscarriage, but this one was different. From both losses surged grief deeper than I ever thought possible for this type of death, but the more recent one messed with my heart in ways I’d never experienced before. Maybe it was because I hadn’t planned the pregnancy in the first place – God just made it happen, not at all in accordance with our plans, and planted a new joy of expectation in our family; maybe it had to do with the roller coaster experience earlier in the pregnancy of believing I had lost the baby to discovering the miraculous reality that I had not and then having that happiness torn away two weeks later when the miscarriage abruptly happened. All of those things led me to one thought toward God: “How could you be so mean to me?” Continue reading
I spent four weeks this summer with a group of wonderful women studying the book of Habakkuk, and leading this study was a huge joy. Habakkuk is one of those books that no one studies ever. At least not most people I know! If you’ve ever glanced at this short, three-chapter book of prophecy found in the Old Testament, your first assessment might be that it reads completely depressing. I don’t think you’d be wrong in assuming that it is a difficult text to work through, full of topics heavy to the heart and issues that aren’t the most fun to explore. (It’s all about suffering, in case you didn’t know.) But, I LOVE this book. Absolutely love it! My Bible study friends who journeyed to the end all agreed – when deeply dug into, this book mines treasures of hope and is filled with good news. Ploughing through the difficult, dark, and depressing was worth it because we saw God sow seeds of joy in our hearts that we didn’t expect. Continue reading