Hands

The day after I graduated High School, I went to the mission field.  During my first summer as a missionary, we had long worship and prayer sessions every evening before our concert.  At first I resented these times.  They seemed long and boring.  I had little reason to resent them.  It was felt more than thought, and it was probably spiritual in nature, although I did fixate on the fact that we sang worship songs that I didn’t really know.  Therefore, I decided that they must also be worship songs that were not as good as the ones I knew.

But on that mission trip I learned how to worship.  I discovered that worship was a skill that came naturally to humans, but that I (like probably most people) had become so used to worship primarily myself and I had to fix that before I could understand how to worship God.

I took a Greyhound bus that August from Butte, Montana to Tacoma, Washington in order to start my freshman year of college.  There, I joined the university Christian club, who had weekly worship sessions.  I fought with all I had to not resent those times, because now the songs were different than the ones I’d learned as a missionary.

I struggled passionately to keep my intimacy with God.  I worshipped with them, learning new songs, but now I had learned how to worship, and I could worship anywhere.  I learned the joy of worshipping alone.  Some nights I would sneak away to the piano practice rooms in the music building.  They were open 24/7.  I could sit in a small empty room with a closet and worship by myself.

I would play what little I could, and always faced a resistance at first.  But I would press through that, and suddenly I would come to a song that would spark an emotion or a certain heart-string and the tears would flow.  All that was me would seem to melt away as I connected with God and felt His presence.  That feeling is indescribable really, but all I can say is that it is better.  List any good adjective you can think of, and that feeling is better.  It was water to my own soul.

It has been a while since I’ve felt that, I must admit.  I have taken times worshipping on my own and have even had moments of intimacy, but not like that.

It is my lunch break now, and earlier this morning I was listening to my worship mix from my hard drive as I worked.  Tim Hughes He’s Got the Whole Worship in His Hands started playing

When all around is fading
And Nothing seems to last
Each day is filled with Sorrow
Still I know with all my heart
 
He’s got the whole world in His hands
He’s got the whole world in His hands
I’ll fear no evil, for you are with me
Srong to deliver, mighty to save
He’s got the whole world in His hands

Lately, each day is not filled with sorrow and I feel like I am losing nothing, particularly.  I am doing quite well.  And yet the tears started to fall as I sang along.  All I can describe, the best I can do, is that His having all of it in His hands hit me in a new way.  My sin, my joys, the things that I have given up, and the things the enemy has stolen from me, the moments of triumph, and those things I can never undo…all of it, in His hands.

I have nothing to fear.  You are with me.  You’ve got it all in Your hands.  And here I am, better.

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