Thursday, September 27, 2012

I've Got to Worship!

“I’ve got to worship.”  Fernando was leading our small group, and was tuning his guitar when I arrived.  “Today was…”, he finished with a shake of his head.  I nodded in agreement. 
I had had one of those days, too.  It had started with a mammogram that was, well, let’s just say less than pleasant (and I’ve had 5 before this, so I know there’s a way to do them that doesn’t cause someone to nearly pass out!).  

It ended with a frustrating English class.  After weeks of reviewing the verb To Be, our students still have to check their notes to say “It is a pen”.  They want to know English, but they don’t seem to want to study it. 
Yeah, I was right there with Fernando!  Others in the group had had hard days, too.  Frustrations, concerns, disappointments.  Thankfully, not everyone had had ‘one of those days’, but we all needed to refocus on our loving Father. 

And so, we worshiped.  “In Christ Alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song.”  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul, worship His holy name.”  “And, I, I’m desperate for You.  And I, I’m lost without You.”  Songs of hope, songs of longing, songs I needed to sing. 
As we sang, the troubles of the day didn’t fade away, but my perspective on them shifted.  Yes, it wasn’t my favorite day, but spending time focusing on God, on His holiness, on the gift of Jesus to break the curse of sin, brought me back to what matters.    

When life is going well, when I see God’s hand at work, when I’m tripping over the multitudes of miracles surrounding me, worship is easy.  And, it is good, it is appropriate, it is wonderful, to bless the name of God when ‘the sun’s shining down on me’.
But, last night I was reminded that when nothing makes sense and God seems far away, worship is not only good, it is essential.  

The fact is, God doesn’t ‘need’ our worship.  From eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have mutually loved and glorified each other.  As if that wasn’t enough, His throne is surrounded by creatures who sing out Holy, Holy, Holy day and night without ceasing. 
But, we humans?  We need it.  We need to worship.  God knows this, and has created us with this desire.  Oh, how loving He is!  He invites us into His presence, not for His need, but ours. 

Worship places me at the feet of the One who secured our freedom, our victory.  Worship lifts my eyes from my pain and concerns, and slows down my frantic heart. 
When all around me is darkness and chaos, that’s when I need to worship.  Not as a magical way to erase my problems, but to refocus my heart.  Spending time praising God for who He is – Creator, Savior, Sustainer, Holy One, Defender… the words to describe Him keep coming, refreshing me. 

I sing of God’s greatness, of what He has done in the past.  Throughout the world’s history – and mine God has met His people.  Singing this out encourages me to trust Him for my tomorrows.
No, situations still stink, but I am reminded that I am not alone.  I will never be alone because the One I worship has promised to never leave me or forsake me.  

Today has been another challenging day, not only for me, but for several of those I love most.  When they are hurting, I am hurting.  El Callejon feels 'heavy' with spiritual pressure these days.  Even our sweet, quiet girls were misbehaving this afternoon! 
And, so, today, once more, I’ve got to worship. 
The more I think about it, the more I realize that each and every day is filled with challenges.  Each and every day has some icky stuff.  So… each and every day, I’ve got to worship. 

Oh, loving Father, Son, Holy Spirit, You are worthy of praise.  Thank you for giving me this need.  Thank you for inviting me into your presence to be renewed, refilled, refocused.  I’ve got to worship, and I’m so thankful!

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