I literally cry, every morning, thinking about God. It usually happens on my drive to work, or during my quiet time, after the kids go to school. I’ll blast my Bethel Worship music, focus on him, and then bam: tears. Not the violent, Claire Danes from Homeland kind of sobs. But just a silent trickle, after instantly being overwhelmed at how quickly I can personally connect with the creator of the universe, and how quickly I feel his love, when I do.
Granted I’ve always been a tearful sucker for worship since becoming a Christian. I now wear waterproof mascara to church so I’m not targeted for inner healing by the intercessors. No deep issues here, ladies, just feelin’ the love. There’s just something about genuine, heartfelt worship that makes me cry, every time, which was something I never understood, before getting saved 15 years ago. Before then, I could barely tolerate my sisters’ “life group” members coming over to jam on their guitars to worship music in the basement every Friday night. I would sit there, doing my makeup for a night out, thinking, is this really necessary?! Once a week at church isn’t cuttin’ it? Get some lives, people. Then I got radically saved a year later, and it all made sense. When you know God, it’s like your insides have to worship him, because you just can’t contain the reality of his goodness, otherwise. And here’s why:
He saved us
If you really believe you were going to Hell, before accepting Christ, this is the biggest reason to worship. This sounds so narrow-minded and even offensive to those not knowing the truth, but if you believe God’s word, that many are called but few are chosen, the gratefulness that you’ve been given the opportunity to hear about Jesus and accept eternal life, never, ever, diminishes. Of the billions of people existing on Earth, I was born in a nation where the gospel is not only legal, but widely shared. I was raised in a Christian household, rejected God to pursue worldliness…and he still chased me down. I am the least deserving of him. It’s hard sometimes to even make it through the day knowing some of your friends, co-workers and family members still don’t know him. It increases the urgency to share our hope, and the desire to thank him for salvation by dancing like David and worshiping like fools, all the days of our lives.
His grace and mercy are boundless
Micah 7:13 (NIV) says “You delight in showing mercy,” and I am living proof of that truth. Those who know me would (hopefully!) never recognize me, pre-Christ. I was an ugly soul before knowing him. Picture a vodka-infused version of Mean Girls. While family members worked towards missions trips, I would think, “ugh what a waste of time.” When my dad, a pastor, brought home a homeless woman to briefly live with us, I sabotaged her toiletries out of pure meanness. Yes I was 11, but I always had an innately self-centered, hard heart that only the power of God could eventually change. I often think if only this transformation was somehow tangible, the world immediately believe in him. I’ve made so many mistakes, even since becoming a Christian, and God’s been so quick to forgive, and turn every situation around for good. When I take a long hard look at myself – my thought life, my present weaknesses and failures – and realize God still sees me as precious, and holds no record of wrongs, his mercy overwhelms me to tears.
He makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
He just does. Before knowing him, I would just trudge through life, head down, focused on myself – my next worry, my next expenditure, my next source of fun or relaxation. People and circumstances would constantly irritate and disappoint me. I missed out on the simple beauty of life. God helps us prioritize life and enjoy our days without the burden of self. We’re able to see the world, and people differently, in a new way. We see “weird,” hurting, difficult, and “undesirable” people normally ignored or cast aside by the world through his eyes, and we love them, because of God’s love in us. “Annoying” circumstances like the neighbor accosting you at the mailbox to share every last detail of their family drama becomes an opportunity for encouragement, instead of wishing the ground would swallow you whole. Now, when a co-worker snaps at me for “hogging” the shared printer, I recognize her anger as masked pain, and I actually pray for her. A long way from pouring glue into a homeless girl’s shampoo bottle, that’s for sure. It’s amazing to see life through God’s eyes, and I’m forever moved by his ability to make this heart new.
He’s always with us
Divorce. Health concerns. Family crisis. Job insecurity. The list of trials and unfortunate circumstances we’re faced with could go on forever, even for Christians. Actually, almost always for Christians. He never said we wouldn’t go through the valleys…he said he’d be there as we walk through them. I’ve had my share of trials-some self-imposed, some out of my control – but I’ve always had a deep sense of peace, every single day. Just knowing he’s there, and he’s in control. When my company went through a merger bringing imminent job cuts a few years ago, I remember feeling no fear or anxiety waiting for the call from HR. I just felt God, right there. Thankfully I retained my job, but I knew if I was let go, God would find something better. In seasons of total loneliness and confusion, I’ve worshiped every single day – even more, because I felt his peace and nearness ten times more intensely than when things were “good.” It’s so hard to explain to people who don’t know him, like explaining the feeling of being in love to someone who’s only experienced friendship. It’s a feeling not based on outside circumstances or your own emotions, just an indescribable peace and joy that gives us reason to worship, no matter what.
God’s goodness could never be conveyed in one article, or a globe-wide book. But simply put, God is good, all the time. He’s so willing to forgive, so eager to answer prayer, and so ready to bless us beyond what we deserve, or hope for. I hope I cry every morning ‘til breathing my last day as a wrinkled old lady, when I can finally tell him in person: thank you, God … for being so, so, good.