Sunday, August 22, 2010

Worship Worth Fighting For

I wasn't planning to write today, but I am compelled to come out of my extended quiet spell long enough to share a heartfelt moment of brokenness and love . . . and hope.

On this bright, glorious Sunday, I did not feel like going to church. I did not feel like offering words of worship or songs of praise. I did not feel like giving or smiling or hugging. Crying or stamping my feet? Maybe! Worship? Not so much. My emotions just
would not line up with what I know . . . would not line up with the God I know! Old fears and new developments in our personal economy were warring against the quiet stillness of my trust in God, and it was a raging battle. I had to choose sides--one or the other would have me today and the choice was mine.

What I know about God and His character was never shaken--I absolutely know and trust Him to be faithful and loving, kind and compassionate, powerful and present to an infinite degree. But my emotions!!! What loud, bossy, obnoxious things they are!!! They would not be still, they would not quiet down, they would not wait for my worship time to be complete. They clamored for my attention incessantly. This was one worship service I was going to have to fight for!! The muscles in my mouth did not want to form the words to sing what my mind knew was true. The burning tears and the basketball wedged in my throat made singing nearly impossible.

Which would prove stronger--my emotions or my love for God??

I was reminded of a very difficult night several years ago when my then 15 year old son taught me what it was to fight for real worship. He was the drummer for the worship team at our church. Just a few months before, we had lost our wonderful worship pastor when he moved to another state, and the new worship leader was making sweeping changes that were very difficult and emotional for the whole band. At one rehearsal the conflict that erupted from the leader toward the band was ugly and harsh and completely incompatible with what was supposed to be preparation to lead worship. Drummer Boy was the one who took the brunt of the outburst. While the Holy Spirit kept me motionless where I sat (not an easy thing since I was in full Mama Grizzly mode), I watched my boy stubbornly press in to Heaven, refusing to give victory to anyone but God. I saw real worship that night--it was fierce, and brave, and heroic . . . and stubborn! Drummer Boy fought for it! God won the day!

For a while this morning I felt too weak to overcome the swirl of conflict inside, and I hated my weakness. I so wanted to be strong and courageous! The Holy Spirit heard the silent cry of my heart and fought along
with me, fought for me, and delivered me out of the bondage to my fleshly self into the breathtaking safety of my waiting Heavenly Father's presence.

What I can see has not changed. The circumstances are what they are. BUT I chose sides!! I stubbornly refused to let my emotions or the the circumstances be my masters. My love for God won out because the Holy Spirit held me together when I thought I would fly apart. Sometimes life's trials and our emotions in those trials make it hard to FEEL like offering worship, but the worship you have to fight for, the fierce, brave, heroic kind, may be the purest of all.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Have you ever had to fight to worship God despite your emotions?
Let's encourage one another with stories of His faithfulness!


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