Whispering Worship Through Our Pain

God still loves me. Those are the only words in the chorus of “Naomi’s Song.” Usually, as I song-write, I try to derive my lyrics straight from scripture. But as I was wrestling with Naomi’s story from the book of Ruth, I couldn’t find clearly spelled out in the narrative what truth she based her hope in God on.

So I asked myself, if I were in Naomi’s position, what would truth would I base my hope in God on? And my mind was flooded with memories.

Back when I was a new mother, we attended a Southern Baptist-ish church. At that time, Beth Moore was the big name in women’s bible studies at such churches, and we did each one as it came out. In one of those studies, she had this neat idea of these 5 sentences, one for each finger of your hand, that you could say to remind you of God’s truth in difficult times.

The problem for me was that, try as I might, I could not remember those 5 sentences. Especially in times of soul distress.

But these four words, I could remember: God still loves me.

Those four words carried me through so many difficult moments. Through failure of a pet project. Through embarrassment over careless words or deeds that hurt others. Through watching my kid struggle with things that seem easy for others. Through shame of sin. Through disappointments in people. Through having to give up a beloved ministry. Through choosing to leave a church family (twice).

I would say those words, emphasizing a different word in turn.

GOD still loves me. The very God who fashioned the universe. Who knows all and sees all. The Holy, all-powerful, always present God.

God STILL loves me. No matter how badly I’ve bungled things. Despite all my character flaws and reoccurring sins: still.

God still LOVES me. God doesn’t just tolerate or put up with me. God has that sacrificial I-would-rather-die-than-be-without-you type of love for me. Love that gently and generously seeks my best.

God still loves ME. The God who personally selected my DNA and knit me together, loves the world and loves the nations. But He also loves me, just as I am.

Now, if you have the picture in your mind that I said these words “clothed with strength and dignity, laughing without fear of the future” like the proverbs 31 woman, let me clear things up for you.

In times of deep pain and distress, my voice choked with overwhelming emotion, I spoke these words as a mere whisper. The lies in my heart and emotional turmoil of my soul battled every word. “No, He doesn’t. He wouldn’t have put you in this situation if He really loved you. You messed up, and He’s done with you. He doesn’t have time and patience for you anymore. You’re on your own now,” the lies say.

So I whisper. God still loves me. I whisper over and over again, forcing my heart to cling to and rejoice in this truth: God still loves me.

For me, it’s not vain repetition. It just takes time to convince my heart of the truth that my head already knows. As I preach this simple truth to my soul, my hurt and shame begin to decrease as my thankfulness and praise begin to rise. I begin to worship.

No one else sees or hears this worship. But God does, and I believe it is precious to His heart. Like the widow that Jesus commended for putting her two copper coins into the temple treasury, when that one truth is all you’ve got, and you whisper it anyway, to Jesus, it’s worth more than any expensive, showy worship out there.

So when in pain, whisper worship. It doesn’t matter whether it’s five sentences or four words. It just needs to be truth that is clung to in faith and trust. Whisper worship through your pain; it will bless your soul and His.

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