Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Transparent Worship Pt.2... It is well, no matter what.

Day 14 of 40

“When you feel abandoned by God, yet continue to trust him, you worship him in the deepest way…”
- The Purpose Driven Life – 
Chapter 14 – When God seems Distant -

I feel I must continue on last night’s thoughts… but to those who are hurting in this world.
It’s not always an exhilarating feeling to worship Him with everything.
Sometimes it costs something.
Sometimes it hurts.
Sometimes you don’t think you can do it.
Sometimes you don’t even know if you can make it through.

There was a specific time in my life, not very long ago, that I had to learn to worship God no matter what my circumstances were.
No matter how hard.
No matter how much it hurt.
And no matter what the outcome would be.

Last spring my family went through one of the hardest times in our lives.
My little brother, Danny got really sick.
(for more specific details to his illness read HERE)

I remember one dark night when I was home alone, I got a call saying Danny was worse.
He hadn’t eaten in 2 weeks and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the skinny little boy with Cerebral Palsy. He couldn’t even sit up in his wheelchair anymore. He was just a thin, transparent little guy in a hospital bed.

That night will probably be remembered as one of the hardest in my life.
I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t want to go through this.
It was too hard. It hurt too much.

During this time I found out first hand that “Church Family” meant literally.
There was one amazing woman who held my hand through that dark night.
Deb Jensen, I can’t begin to describe how amazing she is. J

That night I e-mailed her because I just couldn’t do it anymore.
She said something I’ll never ever forget.
She said, “Michelle. I know it’s hard and I know you feel like you can’t go on… but something you really need to do is go upstairs to your piano and worship God. This might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but you HAVE to do it. You have to be able to tell God that no matter the outcome of this, it will be well with your soul.”

That was the night God taught me that no matter what was going on in life, whatever circumstance I’d find myself in, I would learn to just lose myself in His presence.
See, a funny thing happens when you worship.
It’s like God shows up and fights the battle for you.
Try reading 2 Chronicles 20… here we find a story of a King who was up against a lot of major armies in the world at that time.
BUT… when he sent the worshippers out into the battlefield FIRST, that was when God showed up and killed all their enemies

No, it doesn’t mean that your circumstances will go away.
But remember the peace we talked about yesterday? The real pearls… not the fake ones you cling to.
Peace comes… and Joy.
Only in His presence can you finally feel that empty space filled with something that will last.

One last story before I leave you tonight.
Take a penny (I know you have one lying around somewhere).
Hold it about a foot from your nose.
Now focus on it as if it’s the only thing in the room.
All you can see is the penny!
Now try focusing on something that is beyond the penny. (maybe a person?)
Now can you see the penny?
No. It’s as if by focusing on something larger, then penny does not even exist.
It doesn’t matter.
Oh it didn’t go away, but your focus changed.

That’s exactly like the things in your life.
When you focus on your circumstances, they completely consume your life.
Your vision goes only as far as they do.
However, if you look beyond the circumstances and focus on Jesus…
Well, then your circumstance is just… a penny! J

It may not go away. But your focus has changed.
God showed up and is fighting your battle for you.
You can sleep easy knowing that He is in charge and He will carry you through this.
Even if you can’t feel Him right now or even understand what He’s doing, He is still there.
Trust Him.

Psalm 121 (NLT) 
I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
 The LORD himself watches over you!
The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

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