Friday night was rough. It was a night filled with awful nightmares and I found myself awake, sobbing at 3am. Even knowing the dream was just that…a dream…it left me feeling overwhelmed by despair and fear.
And as if to add insult to injury, once I was finally able to settle down enough to fall asleep again, I had another rotten dream – this one leaving me filled wtih inadequacy and shame.
The entire night, I truly felt attacked by the accuser and so I did the only thing I knew to do. I got on my knees and countered lies with prayer and Truth.
But even then, all day Saturday I just could not shake this feeling of heaviness that hovered over me. It was like a thick darkness had just attached itself to me and would not let go. And the longer the day wore on, the lower I felt. I just wanted to crawl back in bed and bury myself under the covers, under the dark, and sleep.
By the time the late afternoon rolled around, it was all I could do to drag myself to Saturday night worship at my church. And as much as I wanted to be thrilled about coming into the house of God…well, I just wasn’t.
I faked it through the first couple of songs and listened diligently to the sermon, taking notes, highlighting in my Bible. You know, all the “godly” things a person should do when they are in “church.” But then, my pastor said something that sort of caught my attention. That he wanted to change the language (and thereby the attitude) we all have when we come together for service. That we wouldn’t say anymore, “I’m going to church,” but rather that we would say (and live) “I’m going to worship.” Because that’s what it’s supposed to be, right? It’s not about us getting entertained, or blessed even. It’s about us coming together with the Body to worship the Most High God. It’s about pleasing His heart, about offering Him a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
I could feel the black muck hanging over me start to crack.
And when the second song set started ~ an opportunity to respond to truth heard ~ it was incredible. I soaked in the presence of Jesus and offered Him back my heavy-hearted worship and He came and stripped away all the dark. He peeled away the layers of lies the enemy had plastered all over me the night before and in exchange, dressed me in His armor of light.
How I love Him so.
We worship because He is worthy.
We worship because He demands it.
We worship because in the offering of praise and thanksgiving, there is truth and release.
The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. And where the Lord is, there can be no darkness.
And on this Monday, I continue counting the multitudes of blessings…
#86 a day to recoup from vacation
#87 sleeping in my own bed
#88 a mother who is struggling for her daughter
#89 checks waiting in the mailbox
#90 my husband surprising me with dinner
#91 shadow puppets on the ceiling
#92 a play date for the little one
#93 grace where it didn’t have to be
#94 little fingerprints on my glasses
#95 my new bathrobe
#96 sending out greeting cards just because
#97 hot doughnuts
#98 a new knee for my daddy
#99 a slow start to the morning
#100 a bright blue bird chasing another
#101 a hospital room with a view
#102 rainbow socks
#103 the warm red and blue blanket my grandma made
#104 deep breaths
#105 waiting in the car with husband and little one for the oldest to get out of school
#106 a nightmare that brought me to my knees
#107 kindness of a stranger
#108 the oldest letting the little one help
#109 made-up words to a song
#110 a small bruise that could have been a lot worse
#111 clouds painted on sky
#112 a bird that soars just above the tree line
#113 red, blue, and yellow kite high in the sky
#114 scriptures written on door frames
#115 a sky that promises rain
#116 the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit
#117 being completely overtaken by Him
#118 little baby cooing during worship
#119 sitting in the midst of God movement
#120 pink, blue, and gold darkness
#121 loud worship
#122 hearing what I needed to hear
#123 a stripping away of heaviness
#124 a pastor’s wife with her own passion
#125 a grocery list
#126 wrinkly raisin toes in the tub
#127 a royal priesthood
#128 fog lying low, hanging in air
Do you have a gifts list? Oh, how I hope you will join me in listing your gifts. Please feel free to add yours in the comment section here if you’d like. And I’d love for you to read Ann’s book One Thousand Gifts. You’ll be so very blessed. And please also head over to the Multitudes on Mondays community and read more gift lists!