Teach Me to Worship in the Dark


My senior year of high school I unexpectedly found myself taking Choir in order to meet my fine art credit. I’m not the sing-in-public type–plus was more “jock” than “musical”–so it was an interesting and empowering experience.

In preparation for an upcoming concert our teacher guided us into the auditorium, switched off the lights, and had us practice singing a cappella in a circle in the dark.

In the dark there were no distractions. In the dark our ears became more sensitive to the sounds, and we were more likely to stay on tune within our various parts. It was really beautiful–one of my favorite moments, even though I have no memory of the song itself.

I have had a shift in my spirit of embracing my challenges. And somehow, I have had more physical energy, more joy, and more peace, even though I am still chronically ill and struggling through the symptoms of my conditions.

It’s tempting, when the lights go out in our lives–when life is difficult–to stop worshipping God. Maybe we mean to worship Him, but we are so busy and distracted in trying to find the light–the way out–that it doesn’t happen. But in the darkness when our emotions and senses are heightened there is an opportunity to hear God more than ever. We can embrace the longings within our own souls, and surrender them passionately. Longing without hope becomes desperation, but longing with God leads to deep intimacy.

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.” (Rom. 15:13 AMP)