There are some Sundays where, by His grace, I am completely and fully immersed in the worship of our God. Those are the Sundays when I don’t want the service to end. Those are Sundays where it seems as if everything speaks expressly to me and the place where I am. Those are Sundays where I hang on every word spoken, prayed, preached, and sung. This past week held one of those Sundays. I didn’t want to stop singing. I didn’t want Tim to end his prayer. I didn’t want Joe to stop preaching. I didn’t want God to stop be so obviously glorified.
Every word rung in my heart, and I don’t even know how to express what I want to say. So today I will let the words of the hymn writers, song writers, and pastors speak for me. This will be my Wednesday Worship of the week as the songs, prayers and words of the Lord have continued to resonate in my heart long past Sunday.
“For the Lord our God; He is strong to save from the arms of death and the deepest grave. And He gave us life in His perfect will, and by His good grace, I will praise Him still.” I am amazed how He has spared my life not from the death of cancer, although that alone is amazing to me. It is the way He saves from the death of sin. The deepest grave couldn’t hold our Savior down, and on the day when He calls me home, it is His grace of which I will sing for eternity. I will praise Him still forever and ever.
And so I offered myself to Him in worship singing along with those around me how He is “altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.” No one else is completely lovely, completely worthy, completely wonderful. It is intrinsic to Christ and Christ alone. There is no other response than to sing, “Here I am to worship; here I am to bow down.”
Then to be reminded that as I worship, He is singing with me. I love singing Scripture, and as the words of Zephaniah 3:17 rang through our sanctuary, I pictured the smile of our Savior rejoicing and delighting over us. “The Lord our God is with you; He is mighty to save. The Lord will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love.”
As Tim brought our attention from the vertical to the horizontal, we embraced the mothers of our congregation, and I sat surrounded by youth, my children, husband, and friends. I was overcome by the smiles, hugs and encouragement that while I am blessed to be a physical mother, I am a spiritual mother as well. To hear Tim pray for me and the hundreds of other women in our congregation be they physical mothers or not returned my focus to the One Who created each of us. “Lord, You are good. You are the lover of our souls.”
And so we sang of the One Who loves us intimately. For “Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find… Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness…Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin…” Praise God that ALL my sin is covered by His grace. He is my merit. I am free to bask in His beauty.
But I am also aware of my neediness and the neediness of His church as we sang, “Jesus, with Thy church abide… We beseech Thee, hear us.” I could sing no more than the first verse as the meaning of what it truly means to beseech our Lord dawned in my heart. I stood beside my friends at church and listened to them sing while I wept. “May she guide the poor and blind, seek the lost until she find; and the brokenhearted bind: We beseech Thee, hear us.”
And we sought the Lord as Burress prayed for us. And I remembered the promise that as we seek Him, we will find rest for our souls. And I am resting in the joy of Who Jesus is… ALL that He is. “Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart; satisfies its deepest longings… Thine is love indeed.”
What a wonderful love He has shown me! That He is my Good Shepherd. The promise of the I AM. Joe spoke to my heart when He said this: “The greater you see your sin, the greater His Cross becomes. This will change your thanksgiving, worship, attitude, forgiveness, grace, vision.” He challenged me with: “What longing do you have that Jesus won’t meet?” He satisfies the deepest longing, and He offers that to all!
What better response than to sing of all that Christ is in Psalm 23. “The King of Love my Shepherd is; whose goodness faileth never…” He is good no matter where I am in life. He is good when my table is full and my cup is running over. He is good when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I love that line… “the shadow of death”, because though I may one day go through physical death, it will only be a shadow. I will live forever. And because of His goodness, we sang “We adore Thee, we adore Thee, we adore Thee.”
This is my heart this week. I know it’s not a “typical” Wednesday Worship Edition, but it’s what God has been using in my life and heart. I pray that it blessed you as it has me.
I would love to hear from you… how is God blessing you this week?
(I Will Praise Him Still, © 1997, Fernando Ortega. Here I Am To Worship, ©2000, Tim Hughes. Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Jesus With Thy Church Abide, Jesus I Am Resting, The King Of Love My Shepherd Is, Public Domain.)