It’s truly a privilege to see others connect with God. As worship leaders, we get a front row seat to life change. There is no greater joy.
While leading worship is certainly life-giving and rewarding, it also demands that we pour ourselves out spiritually, emotionally, and physically. There’s no doubt that a day will come when you just don’t feel like doing it. You might feel tired or worn out; you might feel stressed or overwhelmed; or you might feel discouraged by events in the world that are tough to process.
David didn’t hold back when it came to being honest with God about how he felt. Throughout the Psalms, it is clear there were moments when David just wasn’t “feeling it.” In Psalm 73, he was troubled and confused when he observed people doing wrong and getting away with it. Psalm 40 figuratively describes David in a “deep ditch” with mud weighing him down. In Psalm 42, David openly admits to a deep sadness: “I’m on a diet of tears – tears for breakfast, tears for supper.” All of this as he recalls joyfully leading a great procession in worship!
This is real life. In some way, we can all relate to feeling sad or weighed down or confused. And being honest with God about feeling this way is okay! But where does David go from there? He waits on the Lord. And in the waiting he finds rescue and strength.
Here’s how he responds:
Cry out to God and he will hear you. “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:1-3a NLT)
Draw near to God and he will give you strength. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever… For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge.” (Psalm 73:25, 26, 28 ESV)
Continue to praise God and he will lead through you. “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11a NLT)
Amid discouragement or weariness, how are you taking time to wait on the Lord? It could be starting your day consistently with one of these Psalms. Or maybe pausing – really pausing – for prayer twice a day. I like to set aside five minutes before a service or rehearsal to reorient myself on God, to wait on Him, and to dwell on his character and promises. It has become an essential, life-giving practice before leading others in worship, especially when I’m not quite feeling up to the task.
If you’re finding it hard to muster up the strength to lead, take a line from David. Wait on the Lord.