This week, whether I am quieting my mind to listen to God, praying, or scrolling through Facebook posts, wherever I turn, the same word keeps coming to me…DANCE.

But God, I don’t feel like dancing……”Dance.”

But God, I am so very sad……….”Dance.”

But God, a dear family lost their son this week. It would be disrespectful…….. “Dance anyway.”

I don’t mean disrespect Lord, but did you say dance? …….”Yes, Dance.”

Over and over.

My friend Stacey Cooper posted a tribute to her mom today in heaven, “…R.I.H. Dance, dance, dance.”


A young man from Zimbabwe died tragically this week. I was overwhelmed with grief. At the celebration of his life, we enjoyed beautiful African music, and I noticed people join in dance. It seemed incongruous, but it lifted my spirit at the same time.  I was overcome with sorrow, yet strangely comforted by the beautiful music and movement. The God honoring music and dancing transformed my spirit against my very strong will. It was almost as if the joy of the music and the overwhelming sadness of the occasion were wrestling in my head. Although I sat still, something inside of me had joined the dance.

The next night I attended a Twilight worship event at my friend Joy’s house. We stood outside at dusk with friends in fellowship and worshiped with song. We sang about sorrow and hurt and brokenness and the worship was a healing balm. This was Joy’s third Twilight worship, but the first one to incorporate what God had been telling me to do all week…dance. The singer’s young daughter danced to the song, “Come as You Are” with the lyrics “There’s joy in the morning O sinner be still, Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” More healing.

I plugged the word dance into Bible Gateway and found numerous verses about dance.

Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.”

Jeremiah 31:13 says, “The young women will dance for joy, and the men–old and young–will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.

Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.”

Worship in sorrow is one of the many paradoxes of the Christian life. I won’t pretend to understand how music and dancing have the power to heal the troubled heart. It just does. Sometimes it moves us in spite of our stubbornness. Maybe that’s why God tells us to worship when everything in us wants to lay down and die. Worship, whether in prayer, song, dance, or whatever the form, is the prescription for turning our sorrow to joy. But God is a gentlemen. He won’t force us to dance. It is His gift to us. It is ours to accept. We can hold rigidly still in our sadness…or we can dance.

So for this moment, I will forget my sorrow and choose to dance, if not in body, I will dance in mind and I will sing. I will laugh and smile. I will be grateful for all that God is and all that He does because He is good and His ways are good.

And I am learning that when life pushes hard against me…I will dance anyway.

Kelly Patterson

June 19, 2018

 P.S. As soon as I posted this, I got in my car and guess what was on the radio…Justin Timberlake singing “Can’t Stop the Feeling” with these lyrics,
“Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on…”
God is so good.

14 thoughts on “Dance

  1. Very moving. Thank you Kelly . I know we were meant to dance especially when you see how happy it makes young toddlers to naturally dance to music.


  2. Love this Kelly! Maybe the topic for Saturday’s devo? Thank you for sharing–I love your insight and transparency. You have a gift!


  3. I love the way you and the Lord carry on a conversation. And I love worship and dancing. So your article is a winner all the way around. Keep writing!


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