Connecting With God in Times of Crisis
Earlier this week a friend of mine remarked, “Is it just me or is the world starting to spin out of control? It seems like all we’re doing is going from one major crisis to the next to the next. How are we supposed to catch our breath anymore?” How should we respond during a crisis? The quick answer is to pray and worship God (no real surprise there). This is what so much of the psalms are filled with – people crying out to good during times of turmoil, doubt, upheaval, fear, loss, grief, disappointment, or despair. From Psalm 1 to Psalm 150, they are filled with real, raw, expressed human emotions. Both joyful and desperate. The expressions run the gambit of human experiences. Some Christians ask “What is the purpose of this? Doesn’t God already know? Why bring it up again?” In truth, there are several reasons. 1) We do this not for God’s benefit, but for our own. 2) It is far better for us to express these emotions rather than bury them. 3) In expressing them, we open ourselves up to both processing our emotions and gaining a deepened connection with God.
Connections are important. They are a core part of who we are. Dr. Rene Brown writes “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” The Psalms give us wonderful examples of how to develop open, vulnerable, expressive connections with God. The deeper we have these experiences the more we are plugged into God’s liberating grace and healing power.
These connections (or deeper experiences) are some of the core by products of worshiping God. When our connection with Jesus is strengthened, we being to be our real selves. We discover true purpose, experiences, and meaning to our lives. The more we allow Jesus to lead our lives, the more we receive mercy, strength, and help.
Psalm 34:18 reads “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ultimately what worship does is it takes our minds off of ourselves and helps not just see, but focus on and connect with the living, breathing creator of the world. No one knows us better than God. No one knows better “who we were created to be” than the one who created us. In times of crisis, there is no one who can both mend our broken hearts better, calm our anxieties and worries faster, or lead us to joy and peace more directly than God. Let us all take the opportunities that these seemingly never ending crises provide and connect deeper with God through the worship of our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Amen!