Jesus said, “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, ESV). So often I found myself focusing on the word “rest” until I understood that I needed to act on the first word, “come.” There had to be the place I continued to come back to, and time when I would consistently “come” to him. The only thing that would give me rest was the constant coming to the One who promised me rest. I had to come trusting that the rest would be given even when the task to rebuild overwhelmed.
At times, worship seems difficult because it requires the soul to be still (Psalm 46:10a). We can worship in different ways: through music, serving others, giving, or anything that brings us before the Lord. There is something to be said for when you and I worship the Lord from the depths of our soul with the time and talents that he has given us.
Stillness is so difficult when there is so much to do and accomplish. When you live with a crisis you want more than anything to live without it. However, you cannot get beyond it if you do not do something; yet worship requires stillness of soul. The very One who requires our soul to be still is the only One who can direct our steps to move forward. If we rush to rebuild our life after a crisis it is done in our own strength and will not stand. When we wait on the Lord and he renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31), we can place our trust in his perfect timing to rebuild what is broken.
Choosing to worship in the midst of your shattered life is a hard battle to fight. As much as I don’t like to admit this, the temptation to not worship is sometimes very inviting. There may be times when you have found yourself pulling away because your pain was great and, in a weird way, your pain had become comfortable. Worship before Jehovah-Rapha, the God Who Heals (Exodus 15:26), is realizing that the pain is being peeled away, and that you are becoming completely exposed. It is so difficult to be fully aware of your pain. Awareness of pain can be more painful than merely feeling pain. If you are never completely aware then maybe you never have to completely feel. Therein lies the dilemma for anyone finding himself at the crossroads of decision: to remain a life in crisis, or become a life changed by his grace. Becoming that person who begins to rebuild and lives life beyond the crisis only happens by living in complete awareness of the pain. By being aware of the pain one can then truly begin to see the goodness of the Lord. Nehemiah was told of the devastation of his homeland, yet it wasn’t until he was in the middle of the mess that he was completely aware of the distress they were in. He saw the ruins. He heard the despair of the people’s heart. He understood the complexity of the circumstances. (Neh. 2) You can simply acknowledge your life is not as it should be, or you can be responsive to the circumstances by expressing your heart’s pain, seeing what has been ruined, feeling the depth of hurt and loss, and seeking understanding from God.
I am so thankful that I made the choice to worship. Months into my crisis, I was reminded and my heart renewed when I heard the lyrics in “Everlasting,” a song by Andy Chrisman: “I am confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord.” It became a prayer that I would repeat over and over. I repeated those words so much to hear them, to reassure my heart, to choose to trust that God is good. I began to realize that he is good no matter if my life fits neatly and is beautifully packaged, or if it lies in ruins, others judge, some turn on me, and everything around me is an ugly mess. He is Good.
Rest in Him! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG_ofDL9BpE
(this blog post is an excerpt from Joy’s book, Identity Crisis: Moving From Crisis to Credibility) You can order your copy at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Identity-Crisis-Moving-Credibility-Morgan/dp/1614489157/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383163352&sr=1-1&keywords=joy+anisa