Friday, February 08, 2008

Now there's a blast of pure joy...

Just to Sing

The other day I was just down in the dumps. I felt tired, frazzled and about a million miles away from Jesus. It was so weird because I know He promises to never leave or forsake us and all that, but I felt so spiritually alone and disconnected from Him. At this point Christian Cliché would say that, “It was I who walked away from Him…” I know, I know… but look, I was having my quiet time everyday, and I was even getting stuff out of it, but I just felt estranged from His heart. I was trying to disciple these high school guys on what it means to have a devotional life and time in the word everyday and I wound up feeling so confused and conflicted because it dawned on me that I didn’t know how to do it. I mean, the Bible doesn’t really have a quiet time planner or sure-fire devotional program… there is no specific instruction on how to be close to the Lord. I wanted to grow, but I felt like it just wasn’t happening.

The more I thought about it, the more stressed out I became. I actually started projecting my negative devotional life back through time thinking, “I’ve never known how to do this… I have a terrible relationship with the Lord.” I talked to Tom about these dark thoughts and he basically told me to relax. He said, “You know you love Jesus! Just don’t worry about it.” That was certainly true… I may not love Jesus as much as other folks have and do; and I certainly don’t love Him as much as I will one day, but I know for sure that I do love Him… I love Him tons. So I did what Tom said and just chilled out about it and went on with my day.

Hours later I took the girls up to church and let them just play around while I set up tables and chairs for this Bible Study. It was tangible and measurable work that felt good to do and when I was done and piled the kids back in the car to go home, I noticed something in the door of the car… it was a Rich Mullins CD I’ve heard about a billion times. Now, the car ride from church to my house only takes about two and a half minutes, but I was tired of the music that was playing, so I took it out and tossed Rich in. Without thinking about what I was doing, I started to sing along to the first song…

Sing your praise to the Lord, come on everybody
Stand up and sing one more “Hallelujah!”
Sing your praise to the Lord, I can never tell you
Just how much good that it’s gonna do ya just to sing…

When I somewhat mindlessly sang those words about ‘how much good it’s gonna do ya,’ something happened: my heart burst to life as if I had been resuscitated from days of flat lining… And there He was! It was as if the curtains were thrown back and light and life and joy flooded the room through the windows of praise. Psalm 22 says, “Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” The King James says that He ‘inhabits’ His people’s praises. I found this to be true. He was right there! And as I sang, I told Him that I loved Him; and I told me too. I’m not trying to give you a program or anything, I’m just a guy saying, “I sang my praise to the Lord and it did me good.”

rich mullins...

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