Worshipping God in Hard Times
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Inside: Worshipping God in Hard Times
I recently had the opportunity to visit with a friend. I only knew parts of her story, but I knew life had not been kind to her nor had she always been kind to life; it was a two-way street. As we talked the afternoon away, she shared her heart. I would like to share that with you.
“Why do you worship? What’s the point?” someone recently asked my friend.
Before her “fall from grace” as she calls it, she had no answer. She loved singing the songs, lifting her hands and proclaiming that Jesus was Lord. His presence was unmistakable and brought the fuzziest of warm feelings. However, her worship was void of one key element, her “why?” She was merely going through the motions.
In between everlasting and everlasting is a chasm my friend calls life. In the beginning was God and similarly, in the end, will be God. The “in-between space” is her life, her valley. The place she landed when she fell from grace.
Before her fall, she never imagined life becoming hard. Not in a million years did she conceive her life would take a turn straight into painful. Consequently, she never believed she would live life in the valley just waiting– merely waiting on God to move.
The Waiting or The Exit
My friend was one to take matters into her own hands if life grew slow and she was forced to wait. When situations became painful, she took the easy road and kept right on moving. She wasted no time by holding still. Consequently, she walked right into the depths of this valley. She assured me that the weight of the world did not dump itself upon her uninvited. She failed to stay the course and took the path marked “LIFE IS EASY WHEN YOU DO IT YOUR WAY.”
That which did not kill her refined her imperfections. In the valley, she learned to call upon the Lord, for He alone is worthy of praise.
Every valley has a way out (yours included), there is always something there to numb the pain. The easy way is there for the taking just like it was for Jesus in His darkest hour. He had the power to remove Himself from the cross.
My friend has her exit staged, every detail in place should she decide to quit (again) and not wait upon the Lord. However, Christ hung tight to that cross and gave the gift of salvation to humanity. If she sits tight and waits for Him, she will see Him face to face. The Lord does not dwell in “CHART YOUR OWN COURSE.”
Worshipping God in Hard Times
Waiting in the valley is hard. It’s painful when you want to run away and can’t.
In the valley, in the darkest times you cry out, “who will rescue me from this body of death?”
The Lord answers, “I am He!”
In the terror of the night deep in the valley, you cry out, “who will deliver me from this hell?”
The Lord answers, “I am He!”
sinking in the quicksand of the valley floor, you cry out, “who will set my feet upon the rock?”
The Lord answers, “I AM HE!”
Even though the winter winds never cease in the valley and the uncomfortable air chills even the warmest of summer’s day, it is here He says “stay.” So my friend waits, you wait.
There is a blessing at the end of waiting.
There is a blessing at the end of obedience.
There is a blessing worth all the hell you’ve been through at the end of the valley.
If the blessing is in the valley, then the heart of the valley is the place to wait.
Refined by waiting…
There’s something pure about being stripped clean in the midst of waiting. Are you refined by waiting, by the pain? Maybe. Are you refined by worshiping Him from the valley of your hell on earth? Absolutely.
As for my friend, that was her golden ticket to survival and her “why.” She had seen the alternative. She had known a life apart from God. She had been to hell. The Lord God Almighty loved her enough to offer His grace and pardon her stupidity. So now she worships while she waits because she does not wait alone. His rod and His staff comfort her. The Lord has given His angels charge to watch over her. Should she decide to run, He reminds her to stay.
She worships from the realization that the Creator and Lord of absolutely everything saved her from eternal damnation. She has a reason to sit and wait and worship Him. With her eyes focused upon He, for whom she waits, and her mind focused upon Heaven, she lifts her voice in praise. His promise is Truth and His timing is perfect. “And the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
The wait will drive you insane if you let it and time can kill the greatest faith. Silence is the voice of the enemy, the only way to win is praise. The Lord inhabits the praise of His people; He alone is Victory.
I think we all go through valleys; I don’t think my friend is alone in this. I think we all wait for the Lord to move. It’s not the wait that matters; it’s what you do while you wait. Do you grumble and complain while you wallow like little piggies in the muck? Do you search for the quickest way out? Do you lift your praise just going through the motions because it is the right thing to do? Or do you stand and praise Him, empty hands held high expecting Him to fill you to overflowing in the land of the dry? Do you worship Him because on the other side is hell and He fights to keep you out?
The longer you wait to praise, the easier it is to quit. The more you lift your voice in praise, the easier it is to wait. Choose your path wisely; eternity depends upon it.
The joy of the Lord floods my soul and I cry out to Him for He is good! He is worthy to be praised, especially in the wait.
Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord, so we may see that from which you saved us. Cause the revelation of the magnitude of life apart from you to birth within us genuine worship for you have rescued us. We owe you our worship and give it willingly according to what you have done! All glory and honor and praise to the one who said: “I AM HE!”
By His Grace,