I have been meditating and studying the many ways we enter into God's rest and this morning as I listened to worship music before Francis Chan spoke at Saddleback Church, I realized that the past two weeks of heavy emotional turmoil were fed by the choices I made in response to the diagnosis from the eye specialist. Not only was I grieving what was and feeling fearful of what could come, but I began to struggle with my beliefs about healing.. I had many choices in how to respond to the report I was given.....unfortunately for several days...........I retreated to my old ways............
I responded like a powerless victim instead of a power-filled victor. Fear became my constant companion and I stuffed myself with food for comfort (even on a paleo diet you can overeat), while weeping for hours and then off and on as time passed. I watched depressing and heavy TV shows and lots of news coverage on the Boston bombings.
I fed my flesh instead of my soul, and depression set in.
It took me awhile to let go of my desire to focus on the problem and not on my God. In many ways I was reacting to the doctor's words from another place deep inside. From soul wounds and from a spiritual foundation I had built that seemed to be crumbling before my eyes...(no pun intended, but not a bad one at that). The situation was not my choice....my response was.
God began to speak to me about the old ways of coping and He started to shift my thinking back to Him where it belonged. He also spoke to me about being thankful............rejoicing............and worshiping. I really did not feel like rejoicing, but I began to listen to His call.
Oh worship the King!
I am still unable to head to church Sunday mornings like I did for most of my life. So I worship from home tuning into to live services on the iPad and/or watching preachers on morning TV. This morning as I opened our front door I looked around the neighborhood and saw people mowing their lawns, raking their grass, walking the nearby path, kids playing outside on the grass. I felt sad for them and for me. We were missing out on something wonderful. Worship! Of course we can worship in many different places, but there is something special about worshipping as a body of believers.
Worship is actually a gift from God, one of many He has provided for us because He loves us. What I realized today is that worship is also a way of entering into God's rest. We enter into His presence when we worship. Remember the song I mentioned before? In the glory of your presence I find rest for my soul.
Oh worship the King!
When life deals a blow, when fear raises its ugly head, or discouragement settles in, worship! Worship the King! Certainly I am not advocating denial here. We grieve, but we grieve with hope. We have fears, but we respond to them with faith. We get discouraged, but we don't build a home there..........we worship and rejoice with thanksgiving just as God's Word tells us. In this place we enter into His rest. We find rest for our souls.
Giving Thanks today and linking up to A Holy Experience with Ann Voskamp.
Thank you God:
For the gift of worship
For music that shifts the atmosphere
For songs that bring us into His presence
For being able to sing a new song
For rest for our souls