Trusting Tears

Job 1:20: Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped.

5 15 23

This verse follows on the heels of Job receiving the devastating news of loss not only of his material wealth, but also the loss of his children. This was certainly the most painful blow.  This verse tells us he fell on the ground and worshiped. I wonder what this worship looked like. I highly doubt it looked anything like the giddy, pick-me-up worship of modern America. This passage is authored by God, and He identified Job’s response as worship.  From a human vantage point, it likely appeared as deep grief.

On a recent Sunday morning, I was sharing with our congregation on the subject of worship. We considered different angles of worship in the Psalms.  Psalms of lament are a significant portion of the Psalms, as they comprise around 25% of the Psalms. Why laments in the middle of a book of worship songs?

As I considered these realities, I have come to the belief that our sorrow of heart, out of a trusting spirit, devoid of that fist clenched toward God, is an extreme act of worship. Even if questions abound, it is as much (likely much more so) an act of worship as are the giddy praise songs sung Sunday morning.  After all, Psalm 126:5  tells us, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.“  In God’s economy, the value of the worshipful, trusting tear exceeds the price of an easy, care-free smile.  While laughter and smiles are gifts from God, in the middle of our feel-good culture let’s remember, as well, the value of the trusting tear.
-Jeremy Sensenig