Saturday, May 31, 2014

An Unexpected Moment of Worship

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I'm a Southern Baptist girl born and bred. 

Baptists are not typically known for their enthusiasm during worship but happily that is changing. We clap, we say amen right out loud - even women sometimes - and dare I say it... sometimes we even raise our hands during worship! Sometimes both hands - at the same time!

I know. It sounds like something out of  - well, actually it sounds like something straight out of the Bible. God's people were exuberant in their worship. They sang, danced, feasted, laughed, raised their hands, play instruments. The worship and praise in their hearts spilled over and came out in joyfully uninhibited ways. 

I've always admired people who get so lost in worship they raise their hands and have a private moment with their Lord. Maybe I've envied them a bit as well because I'm just not that demonstrative in public. I tend to be private about most things, not just worship, and I think that's okay. 

And then a funny thing happened yesterday afternoon as I was driving to my niece's graduation. I was listening to praise music and singing along and just enjoying the private worship time. And then the song played.

Midnight Cry.  Have you heard it? Well I was just overwhelmed with the promise of it and the picture of Christ stepping out on a cloud to call his children home. 

Before I knew it, my little Southern Baptist hand was raised in my car and I was lost in worship. What a moment with Jesus!

I became aware that everyone passing me was lifting a hand to wave back. That happens all the time in the South. You wave to anyone you meet on the road. It's just being neighborly. 

I got tickled, but I was also hooked. I played that song over and over again with my hand raised (just one at a time - I was driving after all) praising Jesus and thanking him for the promise of his return someday. I found myself praying for it to be soon so we could see him step out on that cloud and call us home. 

I really can't wait! If you haven't heard the song click Midnight Cry to listen. You may have to sit on your hands but really, why would you? Raise them high and thank God for the promise of his coming again. 

I'm going to stop now. I'm playing the song while I write this and it's just too hard to type with one hand! 

Praying for you today, 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day - A Private Storm

This is for all of you who want nothing more than to pull the covers over your heads on Saturday night and wake up on Monday morning - after Mother's Day is over...

It's so hard when the celebration so relentlessly in your face causes pain so sharp it takes your breath away. What is it for you this year?

  • your mother is sick and this will probably be your last year with her
  • your mother is gone and the hole she left in your heart and your life is still empty and raw
  • instead of cuddling a little one you wrestle with the agony of infertility
  • in a perversion of the natural order of things you have lost and buried a child
  • it is not death that separates you from your child but anger, bitterness and unforgiveness
  • you are alone with small children who cannot pamper you and celebrate with you - they only demand that you be Mom
  • you live with your children in a shelter, or on the street, or wherever you find a place because it's the only way to keep them safe
  • your child is missing and you have no idea if she is safe or alive
  • your child is rebellious and makes you question your fitness for motherhood

For you, Mother's Day is not a day of celebration but one of pain and grief. 

You're allowed, without apology or explanation, to do what you need to do to take care of yourself today. 

God does not always take away the pain, but he always, ALWAYS holds on to you through the storm. He knows your heart. He catches every tear that falls. He has forgiven you EVERYTHING - he died for that - so you can be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself when you're not perfect. 

A mother's pain is a precious thing. It is carried for a lifetime. What amazing strength you have!

Whatever your circumstances are, know you have been prayed for - taken by the hand and lifted straight to the throne of God. There you can find peace in your storm, comfort for your pain, and strength to carry your burden a little bit longer. 

"When the storm has swept by,
the wicked are gone,
but the righteous stand firm forever."
Proverbs 10:25 (NIV)

Praying for you today,