As our region moves to an orange zone tomorrow, I’m reflecting on my heart of worship today.
New restrictions will be implemented (again), with kids’ extracurricular activities there will be changes, and churches will be discerning the best way to proceed. Implementing – and accepting – changes is a tiresome work, and it surely has been for most of this year.
We enter worship today on the brink of frustration, despair and exhaustion.
Yet God is near.
He is near to us in all these shifts of life. He is near in all the emotions we carry. He is near as we lead our children through.
Bringing these heavy burdens into worship today isn’t the wrong thing to do, it’s bringing our challenges before the One who already knows our struggles, and is the only One who can lift them; who invites us, “come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).
With all the emotions surrounding the changes, we remember that the thing with feelings is they can deceive. Placing our trust in emotions, equating them as truth, can lead us down a path of me-first, ourselves as the guide.
You may feel as if His presence is far away, but remember the promise in Jeremiah, “you will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13). As distant as you think He is, draw near to the truth that He is not beyond your reach, it means we must make the intentional effort to seek Him in this time.
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, it’s not against the public health orders, or the decision makers, it is a battle of our hearts to trust and depend on the Lord. “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:21-23).
The Gospel hope for our worship today is that He is near to us in the middle of chaos and uncertainty. May we, with hearts pondering the truth of who He is, His great love, His unceasing faithfulness, be worshipers today that carry the torch of hope, being filled, that we would bring this light into the dark places of the world.
For, in His presence today we will find joy. Not in our circumstances, not in the changes, nor in the world around us, but in Him alone. He has come to give us life to the fullest, even in our struggles.
Let’s bring our struggles before Him as we worship, and call to mind the truth of who He is. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).
Are you trusting today, that God is near?