I’ve not hidden the fact that I’ve been wrestling with God a lot lately…kind of perfect for the Lenten season. It’s the season when we’re supposed to be drawing closer to God, and there’s nothing more intimate than wrestling and fighting with the one you love and who loves you back unconditionally.
While I haven’t kept that a secret, I also haven’t shared the fact that I’ve not been able to worship well at all these past few weeks, either. And by “worship well,” I mean that the last thing I’ve felt like doing in worship is praise God. I’ve nit-picked apart the music, the prayers, the sermons, my role when I’ve helped lead worship…you name it, I’ve had an issue with it. My prayer this week has been for God to just grant me freedom in worship. Freedom to praise, freedom to hear, freedom to pray, freedom to feel called to worship. I’ve been asking God for freedom and I think God’s finally granted it to me…at least I’m starting to feel better about praise in worship.
Last night I spent three hours late at night at our new church building (491 Langford Road if you want to come visit us!) walking through and mapping out my nurseries and children’s classrooms for move-in day on Saturday. It took a while to get the logistics worked out, but when I finished I wandered into the sanctuary-t0-be and plopped down on the stage stairs. I prayed…and I prayed hard. And, I felt release.
I was able to admit to God my problems with church, with worship, with myself, even with God right now…and I felt completely released and at ease. I prayed for God’s Spirit to overwhelm me with grace when I feel frustrated or mad. I prayed for the leadership of the congregation as we (and I’m one of them…) make the big transition into our permanent home. I prayed for God to be powerful in a way that transcends any roadblocks that we humans create, especially for ourselves.
And God heard my prayer.
I left feeling okay – for the moment, at least – with my wrestling. I left feeling that God’s Spirit has really already been in motion to transcend our humanity in this building stuff. I left feeling that God is opening my heart once again to welcoming the call to worship and rest in holiness.
And I left feeling grateful.
Thank you, God, for those moments where you bring us to our knees so that all we can do is look up to see your Holy face and rest in your holiness. Thank you that you work in our lives despite the walls and barriers we put up for ourselves. Thank you that you have loved me through me not loving you quite so much, and that you’ve never forsaken me. Thank you for opening my heart and eyes once again to the power of your grace. Almight God, I pray that you would continue to rock me so that I rely upon you and not myself. I pray that you give me stamina as we finish out this building process and begin life anew in your home that you’ve built for us. I pray that you would continue to carry me on the days when my trust in you falters, and rejoice with me when I realize that you’re still there and praise you for it. I’m completely broken, God, but you’re an amazing healer who is always there to pick up the pieces. And for that, I’m grateful beyond all words. Thank you God, thank you! Amen.