Milk and Honey Magazine article about the importance of worshipping God through praise even when it's tough, anxiety hits, or worry feels overwhelming.

Earnestly I Seek You

Aimee Lojeski

I sang a song to God one day while I was driving about how I didn’t want the rocks and stones to cry out in my place. (Luke 19:40, “I tell you, He replied, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”)

I sang this even during a difficult season because I realized, in that moment, it would have been easy to not enter into a time of praise and worship. It would have been easy to stay silent. It would have been easy to walk away from God because my situation wasn’t easy. Moments before I sang this song, I had hit a wall where I turned off the worship music that was playing because I didn’t want to sing those words. I hate even writing this and being vulnerable with you, but I was struggling to sing about the goodness of God in that moment.

After I turned off the music and started singing my own song to God, things finally shifted for me. I realized that if I believe God is always good, which I do, then He is good even in the tough times. When it's hard, He is still worthy of my praise and adoration. That means that even while I was dealing with a situation that seemed to have no easy answer, or way out, I still knew I needed, more than ever, to find a way to come before God because He deserves it all.

I had a friend a while back in my life; she was my best friend for seven years. She was "my person." But once it was no longer a healthy friendship for me, I knew I needed to walk away from her and that friendship. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

After I walked out of this relationship, I was more guarded, and I didn’t open up to people as well. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted a new best friend! Yet, isn’t it great how God knows what we need even when we don’t? I met a new friend, months after my decision to walk away from my previous best friend, and I was hard on this new friend. I did not make being my friend easy, by any means, as I was still a mess, and terrified to trust the wrong person. She met me where I was at, though! I was clear that what I was bringing to the table of our friendship was all I had. She just took what I had to offer, and that was enough.

In the same way, when we come before God in praise in worship, we sometimes question what we have to bring to the table. Maybe you had a rough week. Maybe you’re exhausted. Maybe you’ve lost someone. Maybe you’re in pain. Maybe you feel broken. BUT, in the same way that my new friend openly loved me and accepted what I had to bring to the table, God loves and accepts you, as you are, when you come before Him offering all you have to bring.

God wants our praise, and worship, but He never said it had to be pretty or that you needed to put on a good show. Some of the best times of praise and worship for me were when my life was the messiest. It was just me, coming before God with all that I had to give, and that was enough. I truly believe God delights in us when we come before Him and we can say, “Life is hard right now, but YOU ARE STILL GOOD. YOU ARE STILL WORTHY OF MY PRAISE AND WORSHIP.”

Milk and Honey Magazine article about the importance of worshipping God through praise even when it's tough, anxiety hits, or worry feels overwhelming.

Do you remember that scripture in Acts 16 about Paul and Silas in prison? I’ve never been to prison, but I can’t imagine I’d have their reaction to their situation. It was after midnight when they started singing hymns and praying to God. I think I would have been trying to sleep or simply stewing in my anger over being in prison when I hadn’t done anything wrong.  Paul and Silas, however, had the wisdom of worship figured out long before I did – that battles and spiritual warfare are won through praising and worshipping God!

Do you know what happened while they sang? There was such a violent earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison, allowing the prison doors to swing open and the chains on the prisoners to come loose! Can you imagine what would have happened if they had waited for their lives to look better, or to feel better? I can’t imagine Paul and Silas were overjoyed to be in prison, but it didn’t stop them from going before God and earnestly seeking him. In the same way, our situations shouldn’t stop us from going before God.

We’ve been given ACCESS to come before the Most High God (Hebrews 4:16,) and what a shame it would be if we didn’t enter into His presence. What a shame it would be if we didn't praise and worship God. What a shame if the stones would have to cry out in our place. What a shame if we don’t realize that God can loose chains and open doors while we praise and worship.

I know writing this is a lot easier than putting it into practice. I know that some days, we show up at church heavy with the weight of life. I dealt with pain for months, and as hard as it was for me to show up and praise God in the middle of this (even though He deserves it all), it was a lot harder to show up for times of worship. I can easily list off numerous reasons that God deserves all the praise: He died for me, He saved me from my sins, He loves this 'hot mess' (say it louder for the people in the back), He chooses me again and again, and He forgives me daily.

Worship and praise are both important, and they're different, too! I try to differentiate the two by describing praise as thanking God for what He’s done for us, in us, and through us, while worship is an act of reverence and adoration. It’s being willing to come before God and just love Him for who He is!

Worship became an easier concept to grasp when I started to break down who God is: 

  • He is the light of the world. (John 8:12)
  • He is gracious, righteous, full of compassion. (Psalm 116:5) 
  • He is LOVE. (1st John 4:8) 
  • He is a wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6) 

I could keep going, but my point is this: it took understanding who He is to want to come before Him in worship. This thought is what broke me and made me want to bow down with my face against the floor, however, is how the God of the universe is madly in love with me. He is worthy of all of my praise and adoration. I never want praising and worshiping God to be something that I feel obligated to do; I want it to be something I need to do.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1.

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Aimee, based in Racine, Wisconsin, has been a born-again Christian since the age of fourteen, and she loves Jesus, working out, reading, writing, and Marvel movies.