Certain words lift off the page when I read Deuteronomy this morning: worship and serve.
When my oldest daughter was little, whenever she had a nightmare, it would make it hard for her to go back to sleep. I used to tell her to sing a song in her mind, because that way she wouldn’t be able to think the scary thoughts. She asked me to give her a song, and I told her the one that I sang to myself when my own nightmares played over and over in my head: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT.
I didn’t quite realize that in doing that, I was worshiping the Lord instead of giving power over to my fears. But over years of dealing with my own various nightmares, worship emerged in new ways beyond music–because there were days I felt so wounded, I couldn’t sing. I learned to worship Him in writing of His goodness, in telling my kids about what He has done, by inscribing His Word on the studs and floorboards of our house when we remodeled a room, in giving thanks in a weekly journal. And while certain trials remained before me for a time, these practices kept me close to my God and aware of His love.
I picked up a copy of Rick Warren’s book, What on Earth Am I Here For?, and Day 13’s reading is on worship that pleases God. He writes a thought-provoking bit about Matt Redman’s pastor and his message on the real meaning of worship: “To show that worship is more than music, he banned all singing in their services for a period of time while they learned to worship in other ways.” This practice turned out to be the inspiration for Redman’s song “Heart of Worship.”
Now that we live in the woods, I’m even more aware of nature’s worship song. When Jesus says that even the rocks would cry out with praise, I know it. And all these things sing just by doing and being what they were created to be. One day I watched a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, saw its fight for freedom and flight–its beauty and flutter dance, perhaps even its own struggle, would be its worship to its Creator.
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
and they exist because you created what you pleased.” Revelation 4:11 NLT
These years of bible reading have strengthened my eyes of faith, that I can see Jesus and His work around me, in everything.
Father God, I am so thankful for evidence of your love. Even in the struggle and heartache, the world will reject, but you do not abandon. Thank you for your protection over me, sparing me of further hurts and heartaches, drawing me close to you to realize you are what I need. May I never forget all that you have done, and may your song always be on my lips and in my heart.