When Staring at God Becomes Singing

I have no idea what kind of season you find yourself in today. I have no knowledge of your burdens or your suffering. But I’m coming to you with words that I hope will embolden your heart to live.

Yesterday was Sunday and I can imagine that some of you were too sad to sing. I was. And maybe you wrestled with keeping silent. Perhaps it wasn’t anger that held you quiet, rather weariness for the valley you’d been asked to walk. You wanted to cry out to God, but where was your strength? Your heart knew God as Hope alone, but hard feelings spread through you anyway. So you just stood there. I know I did.


For some reason, I’ve found the hymn Like a River Glorious to be so comforting. I’m not particularly fond of the tune, but the words work their way through my heart these days.

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Sometimes, I’m too sad to sing, too confused to speak, and too burdened to lift my head up. And so maybe all I can do is stare at God with wide open eyes and look on His peace, His strength, and His love. Maybe all I can do is keep quiet until I’ve cried out to God and claimed His Rest as my own. Maybe, the crying looks like silent fighting for truth, maybe it looks like fragmented prayers, or perhaps it’s simply begging God for the strength to move forward & sing.

But when I choose God, the Rest will come. I don’t have to understand what I’m feeling, or wrap up my emotions in pretty little paper before coming to God for rest. I’m going to come to God and know that it’s OK if I can’t sing the hymn, if the tears fall freely, or if my prayers are too jumbled to make any sense at all.

I’m going to come
and come
and come again.

Sometimes, staring at God is all I can do, and that will be enough until my heart finds courage and rest in Him again. And like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace! In God, I will find my voice again. In God, I will know what to do with my messy emotions. In God, I will be emboldened to live in the full JOY that He has given.

I’m looking to God with my weary eyes wide open..and I’m waiting for His Rest to wash through me again. And I know that soon I’ll be able to shout with a voice that barely existed just days ago.

These are the miracles that God works within a heart—

He turns staring into singing
And silence into shouting.

Do not be discouraged if today all you can seem to do is stare at Who God is and wait with great expectation for His deep rest, courage, and joy. Be His child, because you are His child. Depend on Him for everything.

Soon, He will turn your staring into singing and your silence into shouting. He’s done so for me!  Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace! And those who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly TRUE. 



Song of the Weary

She Was Mad at God

You Have Permission to Be Brave



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