“Though you slay me, yet I will praise you. Though you take from me, I will bless your name. Though you ruin me, still I will worship. Sing a song to the One who’s all I need.” (Though You Slay Me by Shane and Shane)
Almost everyone has the empty chair at the Thanksgiving table. Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, or child have gone to be with the Lord. Some have a prodigal child, off somewhere doing drugs, and the family is left to pray for that loved one, right before they dig into the turkey. The holidays can be difficult, and their is an often forgotten biblical principle that can help us through it, singing.
When my daughter Wrenley died, I laid on the living room floor, Bible open to Job chapter 1, crying, and singing. I would listen to a little girl sing “There is Peace in Christ”. Then I would look at this text in Job chapter 1,
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”
My battle plan to persevere in suffering was found in that text. Worship, bless the name of the Lord not only for His gifts, but His sovereignty in taking these gifts. Seek to not sin, and not charge God with wrong. Trusting that everything He ordains, even our suffering, is right. The sorrow was, and sometimes still is, great. But the singing was, and still is, greater.
There is a strange miracle that happens when you sing through tears. It makes God look so glorious to others, and draws you nearer with each note. It is a supernatural miracle, wrought by the Holy Spirit, when a human being can look at the empty chair at Thanksgiving, and sing God’s praises. Only Christians can experience this great reality.
So, this holiday season, if you have an empty chair, or emptiness in your heart, sing through the sorrow. Shout praises to the Lord, and know that none of what you’re feeling goes unnoticed. He will make all things right one day, and every tear will be wiped away. The God that will wipe those tears away, is worth singing to, regardless of the circumstance. Worship, sing, trust, and obey.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:4
“A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing!” -Psalm 100:1-2