The message was powerful and truths were shared that went to my heart. I was convicted and encouraged all at the same time. Our pastor spoke on holiness, which is a chapter in my Bible study book. God brought much to mind from the study I had done and reminded me of the importance of spending time studying His Word.
Before we even made it to the sermon though, the Holy Spirit was at work. He brought strength to one who was weak and joy to one whose heart has been hurting. I don't know where life has you, but I'm going to share the songs we sang and just a bit about how they spoke to me. I encourage you to take some time and listen to the words as you worship our Lord. This is one of the things God created us to do; clearly it glorifies Him, but it also impacts us. Worship reminds us who God is and shifts our focus from self to the Almighty.
We began our time together with Brian Doerksen's "The River." Tears filled my eyes not long into this one. The words -
Precious Jesus, I am ready
To surrender every care
Take my hand now, lead me closer
Lord, I need to meet you there.
really went to my heart. I'll admit in the past 14 days I've wrestled with some emotions, faced some fears and struggled with wrong thinking. I haven't always taken my cares and concerns directly to Him. This song reminded me exactly what I needed to do...today and always. I pray in the days and years, the trials and joys to come I can cast all my cares on Him. Friend, may you and I not just know our Lord and Savior, may we abide in Christ!
Next up was "Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman - one of my all time favorites with many memories tied to it. When it first came out our oldest was just a little guy. Whenever it came on he'd say, "It's our song mom, let's sing it!!" We couldn't sing, but we did it anyway! It was the song God put on my heart the day we found out we were expecting our 3rd child and found out a dear friend lost her dad - God truly does give and take away. A few years later it was a song, and Truth, I clung to as we walked through a miscarriage. It's one that has come to mind as I walk through the unknown.
Today our pastor introduced the song with Job 1:21 - "And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." In a way I feel like the last 2 weeks have been taken away; I've missed more of our kids' events in 14 days than I probably have in 10 years. For 8 days, I barely left my bed. Things were taken away, but yet in it all God was still giving. What He gave didn't necessarily replace what it felt I lost, but He gave us meals and help, He provided time for me to be still and know Him. I blessed His name today and it was good. Do you feel something has been taken away? Like Job are you facing the unthinkable? Like Job will you bless the name of the Lord? I pray you will friend.
Our 3rd song was another special one from the past - "The Family Prayer Song - As For Me and My House." Eighteen years ago it's one we had sung at our wedding and believe it or not our wedding has come to mind a few times these past couple of weeks. More specifically our vows...I'm so grateful Job is a man of his word. He is sticking with me in sickness. Back then I didn't expect to one day have 5 children, but the words are true - we need each other. My crew is standing strong and helping out as well. We often think of serving the Lord as outside work, but it starts in our home. I'm so grateful we are committed to doing that and am thankful for the perspective check of where the important kingdom work must begin. Have you chose to serve the Lord? Will you do it where you are?
The final song is a newer one, but speaks of a powerful age old Truth - CityAlight's "Only a Holy God." No matter how our life looks, what season we're walking through or what trial tempts to overtake it's important to remember who God is - a holy God. As we set our mind and fix our eyes on Him our focus shifts, our perspective changes and we remember Truth. It's a reality life is hard. Pain hurts. Life isn't not always fun, or easy. But God. God doesn't change. He is forever holy. He is always good. Forever Faithful. Powerful. He is my rescuer, my redeemer and my Father. Is He yours?
Friend, I hope I'm not painting a fake rosy picture because trust me...my mind still drifts. We're still living with many unknowns. I want to know what happened in my body, but there's even fear in that. And lots of what if's too. I don't know if the future I had planned will come to fruition. In all honesty, that was true before this health scare, but the past weeks have opened my eyes. Which really is why I write.
I'm still here and my greatest purpose is to share the faith I know will save me when I no longer am. I know God and have accepted His Son...this Truth brought peace in the moments when my pain led my baby boy to ask, "Mom, are you dying?" We honestly didn't know, but thankfully we know the One who can save us. The One who can heal us. The One who is providing for us. The One who is our peace, our provider and our joy. The One we will worship. Do you?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the power of worship. Help us make it a part of our daily life. May we always lift your name on high. Help us surrender our cares. May we bless your name, when you give and when you take away. May we choose to serve you and may we know you, our Holy God and good Father more and more. Help us do what you created us to do no matter how our life looks. Thank you for being all we need. Meet each of us right where we are. In Jesus' Name, Amen.