Singing the Hard Hallelujah

Column Post by Laura Hyers

“For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.” -Job 5:18

What happens when hallelujah is hard? What happens when gratitude is replaced with stinging tears and hands that cover faces scrunched-up in pain and a mouth that only has words like why and how could this happen?

What happens when precious lives are wasted, in the name of war or choice or freedom or money? What happens when young love is broken apart and pieces are left everywhere and family members hold their breath and pray that they can make it through this one more time?

What happens when bellies are tight and empty somewhere while halfway around the world ¾ or halfway down the block ¾ belts on the loosest loop are tight with gluttony? What happens when death comes and pries apart love that has withstood the tests of time and modern culture and instant gratification?

Really, what I’m wondering is, what happens when life gets to be too much and my heart breaks a hundred times a day and that lump just keeps happening in my throat and my chest hurts and everything in me is groaning under the weight of this world and its brokenness and words I cannot find with my mouth are raging deep in my soul and I think the closest translation is God, do not delay any longer; Your creation is falling apart.

It’s shameful to admit, but my reaction to the brokenness of this world is one of wide-eyed disbelief in God’s goodness. How could He let these things happen? How could He let those most important to me struggle in such painful ways? How could He watch the destruction of life and love and not step in, do something, anything, to help, to intervene, to make it stop?

And I sit here rubbing my swollen eyes and wringing my helpless hands and my soul quiets just enough to hear a whisper that is not my own, not my angry and demanding voice: I am still good, and you, my child, are learning. You have so many reasons to sing, but your voice is choking on your rage and your need for answers. I never promised you answers, little one. I told you it would be hard. But I promised it would be worth it.

It doesn’t make the tears stop. It actually makes them worse, but I am what I like to call a major weeper. It doesn’t make my heart hurt less, and it doesn’t give back what the brokenness of this world has stolen, and it doesn’t make me jump up with some huge sense of purpose and a plan to fix everything. Instead, it quiets the storm in my heart just enough so that I know I can make it to sail into another day, and I feel my lungs fill up with the song of the hard hallelujah.

He promised that the pain would be worth it. His certainly was.

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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.

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6 thoughts on “Singing the Hard Hallelujah

  1. Oh, Laura, I groan with you as I pray, “Even so, come now, Lord Jesus.” A friend recently said, “Jesus is too sweet for me not to trust him.” I pray that we all taste his sweetness in these crushing, troubling days!

  2. Thank you Laura. This is a very timely article for me. I, too, have been in that place of darkness, where it seems that the light is never going to shine again.
    I have been in that same mode of asking “why”
    Why is there so much suffering in this world?
    Why do we lose our children way too soon to death?

    Yes, we cry, we scream, we wail, our throat clogs up, our heart feels like it is breaking in two.
    We do not have the ability to say “Hallelujah or Praise the Lord” when that lump in our throat is so big that we can’t even speak. Reading the Bible and trying to pray is impossible.
    The rage and anger is so strong that we can feel the pull of its strength.
    When you lose your joy and all you want to do is just lay down and die too.

    Then there comes a time when you are able to stop and listen. Through the prayers of others praying for you to have a healing in your heart and your emotions, you come to realize that you are now able to hear something. For me, it was through the words of the songs that were being sung in church services. Sometimes there would be a sermon that spoke to my heart..
    Then came a day when I could sing the hymns again and I started noticing a sense of peace.
    This was soon followed by being able to again say “Amen” and that was followed by being able to read the Bible again.
    Yes, now I have the peace and the joy of the Lord.
    Yes, I now can sing the hard “Hallelujah” and Praise the Lord”

  3. “So that I know I can make it…”

    Thank you for writing about the real struggle. And for being willing to show us the voice that tells us He is teaching us. He will not leave us. He can handle our real emotions. And we can certainly count on His promise. Even when we think we can’t.

    Thx for typing out what only you could have written from your heart.
    🙂
    Karen

  4. Reading your words and the comments make me realize I am not alone. It’s so very hard to remain encouraged when your world is crumbling around you. But we all hear that still, small voice telling us that we have to hold on…help is on the way. It may be hard to see the light at the end of tunnel, however, we must continue to walk on knowing God is at our side or leading us through the darkness. Thank you for putting to words what so many of us feel and may be afraid to admit.

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