I especially didn’t want worship to end. As is often true for believers, sometimes the hardest weeks end in the most intimate worship. It is something inexplicable to those who don’t know Christ. Praising an invisible God despite disturbing news and years of seemingly unanswered prayers. Those kinds of hard weeks…where you are surrounded by a few very heavy circumstances.
Most recently, I’ve been near hurting people who are dealing with deeply life-altering situations. Although it’s not happening to me personally, I feel the sting of shock, injustice, fear and overwhelming sadness alongside them. The emotional pain is devastating. The questions are endless. The heartache is crushing. My faith has felt terribly insufficient.
Then, worship began.
A mighty fortress is our God… (He gives me security after this world shakes me to the core)
A sacred refuge is your name… (He provides shelter from the worldly concerns)
We will keep our eyes on You… (If I keep looking at the world, the sadness will overwhelm me)
During worship, God gently reminded me (once again) that I’m not on the throne, no matter how often I forget that truth. He alone saves. I can comfort and answer questions, but I’m not Jesus! I am the servant, He alone gives peace.
A few months ago on a Sunday morning, my son asked, “Mom, why is church so important to you?” I think he was particularly tired that morning and wishing I’d agree to stay home! I was unprepared for the question-perhaps because I too was exhausted that particular day. I offered some lame answer while corralling three teenagers into the car, but the question stayed with me.
This past Sunday, I formulated a less-lame response to his question. Church is not a social gathering for me. Sure, it provides fellowship, but more intimate relationships are experienced in small groups. Church service is restorative. After six days in the world, I need a reprieve from the depravity, the images, the diseases, disappointments, and this Babylonian culture. Does anyone else feel the same?