But sometimes we don’t know what the resolution will be — if there will even be one. We look forward to that moment of praise if God comes through like we want, but what do we do in the meantime?
I remember when my mom was given a terminal cancer diagnosis. We ended up having three years with her when we should have had six months. Even though I knew the ending, I didn’t know the “how” or the “when.” Questions remained like, how I would deal with losing my mom?
But there was something even in the midst of the waiting that gave me peace. I knew God saw my pain. I knew He’d carry me through every dark day. I could praise Him in the middle of the unknown, simply because I knew He paid attention to my distress.
For the many instances of lackluster faith we see in the nation of Israel, we do find a moment where their faith shines in Exodus 4.
While still in the oppression of slavery — even before their freedom was won — the people worshipped (Exodus 4: 31). Why? Because the Lord “had paid attention” and saw their misery.
The term “paid attention” can mean to “look after.” It’s the same Greek word used in James 1: 27 when Christians are charged to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.”
In that context, you can see what Israel worshipped. Despite their misery, their God saw them. He paid attention!
It’s easy to want to save our worship for the moments when God answers our prayers (especially in the ways we want Him to), but do we also worship Him in the midst of our pain?
It’s hard to worship in the middle of pain, but perhaps the biggest way to do so is when we understand how our loving God pays attention to our hurt.
What in your life can you worship God for, where you know He is paying attention to you?