He wants you as you are— dealing with your "stuff".
October 6, 2016
Hello fellow worship friend! How are you?
I don’t know what you have been going through, or how your daily has looked like, whether you’re at the top of your game or you feel like you’re falling far behind.. I just wanted to encourage you with these thoughts…...
“Nothing can separate you from His love, no sin or any other thing.
You were called for such a time as this, so turn to God, don’t turn away.
Just run into His arms, no matter what you’ve done.
Just look into His eyes, and see the loving grace of God
Just come to Jesus, He is everything you need.
Just turn to Jesus, He is everything you seek,
Just come to Jesus, He is everything you need,
more than the air you breathe today.”
Come to Jesus (Planetshakers, Nothing is Impossible, Verse 1 + Chorus)
I remember back when I was much younger (well, when I was 13) and had been worship leading for about a year, we were short on worship leaders in kids back then (and maybe still are) but it would mean I got scheduled at least twice a month. One Saturday night before I told my parents- as I usually did, for I was too young to drive and needed their help the next morning to get to church at 7.15am, that I was singing and my dad said “You’re not going.” I wasn’t sure what response was called for, “what….??”, “Your mother needs more sleep, she’s been working so hard all week- don’t you dare expect her to wake up early tomorrow morning to send you.”, “but… Dad. It’s too late to get a replacement… I’m scheduled tomorrow and I can’t switch with anyone, I can’t just not go.”, “I said no.”
Startled, I walked to my room, trying to comprehend “Why did God allow this to happen if I was serving Him? If I was doing this for Him, why weren’t things going smoothly?” I just remember praying- or crying, I wasn’t sure, and being like “God, I don’t understand”… Well later on my mother quietly told me she would still bring me the next day, and she did. Yet that occurrence happened more often throughout the years, and there were days when my mother wouldn’t say anything and I literally had to ask my youth leaders (who bless their kind souls- i love you tab and tim-) would wake up to pick me up so I could worship lead at kids or youth. There were weeks when my mother would drop me but for some reason we would get into an argument and as I stepped out of the car I felt so angry and bitter but I needed to lead others and sing “Bless the Lord oh my soul” a few minutes later.
You see, my “stuff” for many years had been my relationship with my parents. It was actually such a struggle- I fought with them often, they didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand them. I wanted to spend more time in church, they wanted me to study harder in school, it wasn’t till I grew older and perhaps even now as I am in a leadership college that I realise maybe God was trying to teach me what real worship was. Singing is easy, lifting my hands doesn’t burn me many calories.. but loving my parents? Obeying them- even when it felt like the stupidest thing to do? Why on earth was I to do that?
"As we come laying down all that we are before Him we find that He has been there waiting for us, cheering us on, His eyes full of love and grace wanting- waiting, running to embrace us as Jesus described the father running to the prodigal son in Luke 15. He comes to us and says “my child, I love you. I came to give you life, to redeem you. Come with me, you are mine”"
It’s not easy to deal with who we are, when faced with the reality that we actually are a mess, that we make mistakes we then however realise our need for a Saviour. God is not looking for us to play pretend and wear a mask but to come before Him, honest and vulnerable with all of our “stuff”, He meets us exactly where we are. As we come laying down all that we are before Him we find that He has been there waiting for us, cheering us on, His eyes full of love and grace wanting- waiting, running to embrace us as Jesus described the father running to the prodigal son in Luke 15. He comes to us and says “my child, I love you. I came to give you life, to redeem you. Come with me, you are mine”
As we walk with Him, we find we become more like Him, daily as we encounter Him, our heart becomes more like His, as we look upon His face and watch how He loves others we become more like Him. That, is real worship. Taking our ordinary everyday life and living it for Him, but in response to all He has done for us. As He has embraced us, so we embrace others. As He has loved us, so we love others. As He chose to forgive us, so we choose to forgive others and live in such a way that others see Him through all that we do…
It’s not easy, but we are in this together, knowing that He lives in us and He gives us the strength and enables us to do all that He has called us to do. So whatever your “stuff” is, whatever is your “struggle”, come to Him. His love for you has not changed, let Him have your stuff, and watch as He gives you the grace, strength and all you need to overcome it.
And please, if you need help in the form of a friend, find a fellow brother or sister in Christ, let’s be a family and be there for each other, to encourage, pray, and edify. Lest we forget that we all need Jesus and we all need each other.