Many of us are probably familiar with the song “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman. I’m sure you have sung it in your praise and worship singing in church or private worship.
To those unfamiliar with the song, there’s a line there that says, “Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name”, which I took as the topic of this short reflection.
Matt and Beth Redman composed the song in response to the US’s September 11, 2001 attacks. The 9/11 terror attack resulted in 2,977 fatalities, over 25,000 injuries, and substantial long-term health consequences, in addition to at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage (Wikipedia).
With the horrific event as the background, we understand the song’s message that we continue to worship the Lord despite life’s tragedies.
So, we imagine the people who had lost their loved ones presenting their offering before the Lord despite the hurt and all other emotions the 9/11 incident brought. This is one of the most complex trials we can ever face if we only consider the human side.
It is tough to present something before the Lord with pain in your heart.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many lives lost, and for those of us who are going through it, we wonder when it will end.
I’ve known a few who abandoned their faith as they grappled with the death of their loved ones.
I’ve also known many persons and families whose faith became more robust and firmly established despite their loss.
The pain could be in the form of job or opportunity loss, and life is becoming harder and harder each day. The pilgrim’s heart asks how one can be thankful and blessed in this situation.
Life’s debilitating pain caused by sickness, neglect, or abusive behaviour can be devastating.
Corruption and injustice bring a lot of pain. A person who seeks and pursues justice needs to have that simple but strong foundation of Emmanuel.
One of the most painful experiences a believer can go through is frustration with a sense of betrayal. Worst, if this happens in the faith community.
Yes, it is painful to offer your praise and worship before the Lord when the cause of the hurt is nearby or in front of you.
So, how can we bless the name of the Lord when there is pain in our offering?
Or how can we receive the Lord’s blessing in His name when there is pain in our offering?
I found the answer in Mark 12:41-44:
Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions.
One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents.
Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”THE MESSAGE BIBLE
One of the many lessons we can learn from the widow’s offering is not what or how much we are giving the Lord but what is in our hearts.
If there is pain, then surely Jesus Christ knows about it. He knows what you are going through, like the widow.
Though there is pain in your offering, Jesus will bless you.
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!
Friends, please watch this video of our music team leading “Blessed Be Your Name.”