We went to our Wednesday night church service last night. Bob has been feeling so down lately, and I must admit I haven’t been very helpful to him; still wallowing in it all myself. We rode home from work together and on the way I asked if he wanted to go to church. We weighed the options: go to church or go home and put our PJs on and get in bed. Believe it or not, it was a tough decision. We made the right one. Pastor Sarah Bowling was spectacular last night. It was her birthday, but it felt like she was giving ME a gift.
First of all, if you’ve never been in a church service where the praise and worship is so powerful you can feel the palpable presence of God…you’re missing out. The lights were dimmed, the band started to play, the worship leader sang…and I became immediately lost in it all. I just closed my eyes and told God, “I’m here, speak to me.”
I listened to the words of the song, “here in His presence, I am undone….” That did it; the combination of me opening up to Him and standing there vulnerably waiting for Him to speak, then the music and lyrics at just the right moment…I was undone alright. I sobbed. Shoulder shaking, tear spilling, nose running sobbed. And it felt wonderful. I just allowed myself to let go. No sense in trying so hard to hold it together in front of God…what’s the point. The music continued to play, “Here in your presence, I am undone. Here in your presence, Heaven and earth become one. Here in your presence all things are new. Here in your presence everything bows before you.”
I opened my eyes to see Bob moving from our pew to the front of the church, arms raised high and dropping to his knees. He felt it too. We both in our own personal moments with God, laid it all down and just worshipped our God, our creator. The next song, “I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.” He was speaking, and I was listening.
I could have left as soon as the worship concluded, I felt that I’d gotten what I had come for. I felt simultaneously drained and refreshed. I had given Him all of my pain and fear and He had replaced it with peace. I was good. And I had hope again, hope for a future. He’s not leaving us.
Glad we didn’t leave after the worship ended. Sarah preached on “walking into our provision”. WOW. Bob looked at me during the message and said, “This is all for me!”
Sarah talked about Abraham walking his son Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him. Imagine. We think we’re walking through a hard time…imagine that walk. Abraham kept walking….kept his eyes on GOD and not the problem…was obedient to God…and in the end, came back down the mountain with his son alive. God provided, God saw what Abraham was doing and saw what Abraham needed and HE PROVIDED.
Maybe we’ve been cowering down, hiding under our shield of faith on this battlefield…but not actually advancing. Maybe we’ve been telling God what we need, like He doesn’t know. We’ve been shocked into this paralyzing place where all we do is look at our circumstances in awe…instead of looking at our God in awe. We stopped advancing through it, we have allowed this junk to stymie us. We need to WALK it out (regardless of whether it’s the first or fifteenth time) we need to keep moving, keep advancing through it. Walking into our provision. God provides health, healing, peace, life…we’ll walk it out. We must keep our eyes on God, not the junk, and allow our ‘forward’ perspective to drive us into forward motion.