Monday, July 21, 2008
As I sat listening to the sermon yesterday I learned a few things… I learned that true worship can and should happen anywhere and everywhere! True worship is bowing down before Him in amazement and so in awe of His presence that we fall prostrate before Him. It is an attitude of the heart. True worship is relational not religious. It IS the true surrender of the heart of the created to the heart of the creator. Worship is loving Him out loud. As I sat listening I also reflected on last week. Here are my thoughts… Worship for me last week was hard and at times grueling and occurred in some surprising and not so surprising places. I experienced worship at the cemetery grieving, in a fender bender on I-35 in 5 o'clock traffic and at the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. All these worship times were amazing in their own way…
As I sat at the cemetery, I sat in the somewhat fresh dirt, placed flowers on Rachel's grave and cried, the pain is still so deep. How long is this thing called healing going to take and will we ever be healed? He revealed to me through a fellow blogger that yes we will be healed, but there will be always be a scar. And the scar will be a reminder of not only the past pain but also the work of Him, the Great Healer. If we continue to worship Him in our grief, He will continue to apply His healing balm from His loving hand which will heal us perfectly in His time. (thank you K. Hasenbalg for those words of encouragement.) Yes I worshipped at the cemetery, thank you Jesus for meeting me there.
As I was driving to work on Tues, I got caught up in rush hour traffic, are you surprised? I sort of got lost in my thoughts and rolled into an old truck, a small one thank goodness. We pulled over to the access road and he immediately pointed out to me ever so kindly that his truck was old and already beat up. There was no way to tell what damage my car had done and my license plate only has a small dent. He didn't want to do anything about it. He was so kind… I immediately began to cry and he became worried that I was hurt, I assured him that I was not… I was just an emotional mess. I shared with him that we had experienced a death in our family, our daughter in fact. He asked if it alright to pray with me. Of course! This guy knows how to love out loud! We sat in my car in rush hour traffic and worshipped as he prayed the sweetest prayer. I am still in awe and amazement of His goodness even in rush hour traffic!
At the beginning of the Steven Curtis Chapman concert he sat behind a keyboard saying, "I'm not really a piano player, I just wanted something to kind of hide behind, I am terrified." This was his first concert without the band since the accident. Then he sang "Blessed Be Your Name," the first song that came to his mind that tragic night. He then shared Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." One of the same verses that came to my mind as I saw Rachel in the ER that tragic night.
It was as if he was sitting there visiting with a group of dear friends. He even had a way of making you feel like he was just sitting down to play you a song and tell you a story...just the two of you. He shared stories about Maria, his memories of her, how God melted their hearts together at their first meeting, how she came to know Jesus....it was an amazing time. He even apologized for going on and on, but said he had had somewhat of a sad day and just wanted to remember. Steven - you know we would have listened to you talk for the rest of the night if you had wanted to.
He shared a message of hope and faith. He poured out his heart even in his fear and pain. It was intimate and special. He shared that more important than the questions is the confidence that they have in Him. He was so vulnerable and honest. He was real. He was transparent. It was him, and us and the Lord. It was impactful to see this broken, hurting man so fully, completely trusting in His God. He said "I know God more than I ever have before and yet I know less than before." I completely agree. I will never forget some of the things Steven shared. I will never forget his voice as he literally cried out to Jesus through some songs. I will never forget the Cinderella moment as everyone stood and raised their hands to show their love to Steven, his tears, his hope, his laughter and above all his desire to share the gospel and glorify God.
I was honored to hear his new verse for "Yours"
"I've walked through the valley of the shadow of death,
so deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I've had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you"
And even though he never sang "Speechless," I left speechless and changed.
Psalm 138: 1-2 & 7-8
I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
before the "gods" I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever-
do not abandon the works of your hands.
HE will fulfill His purpose…
Last week was hard and at times the surfing was difficult… but I experienced some true worship! Thank you Jesus!!!