The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In All Things

I will be the first to admit that I have been in a spiritual kind of rut lately. I have had no actual, blatant reason to be. I have great friends, a family who loves me and a very blessed life. But why was I finding myself so alone in the midst of crowds of people? Why was my heart aching when I was surrounded by laughter? And then it started to dawn on me that it was because I had lost my relationship with God; not my relationship all together, but that constant reliance, that continual connection that gave me an underlying foundation to hold me up during daily storms that blew my way. I had quit consulting him; and asking him for daily strength to get through the day. I started relying on myself for little, seemingly insignificant things and then slowly let that grow into monumental decisions that needed his guidance so desperately.

Church became routine to me and my heart felt somehow hardened while being there. With each discussion of building plans and multi-million dollar renovations, my mindset to worship slowly faded to nothing by the time the song was led. I needed an escape.

A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to attend church with her because her sister was out of town. I had been considering trying a new congregation for some time now and thought maybe this was the break that I needed. I was a bit nervous as I made my way into their family room; after all, I was used to my routine and though I didn't like it, I was comfortable.

As we began the first song, I just so happened to look to my left. The whole congregation was standing, singing praises to God in beautiful harmony. There was a woman in a wheelchair sitting off to the side; I saw that she had hoisted her arms to the side of her seat and was lifting her body up. Her eyes were closed and she was, in her own way, standing before God in worship.

I began to get a little choked up. And I realized the words that were coming from my lips were just that...words. To this woman, they were a life song, a constant reassurance that life was better for her because God was in it. I don't think God shows you these people so that you will feel sorry for them; or feel guilty about your life outside of a physical handicap; I feel like he uses them to bless you. And though I don't know this lady's name, she gave me great encouragement today.

Tearing up during the song service and during a few prayers let me know that my heart is not opposed to feeling again; it is not guarded from an emotional experience with God. The church wasn't striving to profit from one's emotionalism, and I don't think that my thoughts today are a result of a spiritual high.

I think I just needed to be reminded that I am fully capable of relying on God for strength; and that he was a dear, dear friend that I let get away for a while. The preacher read this excerpt from a book today, and it really resonated with me and what I am going through right now. It's funny how these things get mentioned when you need to hear them, isn't it?

"For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and
until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are not the better for
having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to
bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may
enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know
the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their

I'm tired of words. I hear words all day. I write words all day. I am ready to let God back into my personal experiences again. Into my struggles. Into my joys. Into the mundaneness that makes up a life of praise when He is in it.

And maybe when he is in the core and center of my heart will he be at the core and center of my worship.


Anonymous Eldrena McMenamy said...

Amen, Amen and Amen! It's wonderful how our Father in heaven feeds us when we don't even realize that we are malnourished.

September 8, 2010 at 12:51 AM  

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