My last post was about ‘The Importance of Worship’ particularly sung worship. Now if you have a chronic illness engaging with sung worship may be difficult, here are some of the strategies I have used, please let me know some of yours:
- If you are able to, listen to worship songs or even parts of songs. Songs are often saturated in God’s word and so by getting to know them you get the living word of God into you (more on this here). Now personally this has been helpful for me because for a while I couldn’t really read my Bible beyond a verse or two due to my fatigue but I could listen to some music.
- Engage with corporate worship whenever you can even for a short time. There is something very powerful about corporate worship, declaring and agreeing with others about the truths about God. As Colossians 3:16 states: ‘…admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.’ This is why churches tend to have a time of worship each week and why I would encourage you to get yourself to church whenever and however you can. For a while I was so ill I couldn’t really sing and I found music in church draining due to the amount of stimulation. However I’m very grateful to my family who would always be happy to take me for few songs and then bring me home when it got a bit much. It lifted my spirit to be in that time of corporate worship even if I wasn’t singing.
- Go back to the golden oldies! In my post Some Ideas for Getting the Word of God in You I talk about going to familiar verses if you are sick, songs you know can also be really helpful as it takes brain power to learn new words and tunes!
- That being said new songs can be helpful! What has been nice about listening to a lot of Christian radio (UCB2) is I have been introduced frequently to new music which I enjoy and which helps me engage with God. My current favourite track is ‘I Really Love You (Makanaka)’ by Celebrate Africa. This is purely because I love the African sound and it always makes me smile.
- Meditate on the words of songs and ask God to speak to you. I know for some people with chronic illness they can’t listen to music at least not for long or if it is loud. If this is the case (or even if it is not) I would suggest mediating on the words of a song and asking God to speak to you that way. Also exploring the story behind songs can be really powerful, more on this in a future post.
I love how worship brings us into God’s presence. He often uses it to minister to us and encourage us. Thank you God for the gift of songs, hymns and psalms. Please help me to engage with you in sung worship, give me new ideas and strategies. Amen