My students got to come to school this morning, if only for a day. We talked about online learning from home and why it is necessary. They are 4th and 5th graders–smart enough to understand a lot of what is going on and definitely old enough to feel the emotion of it all.
Today, the thing that stuck out to me most was how so many people–from the youngest students to the most seasoned teachers–are just looking for something normal, something stable to hang on to. I could see it in the eyes of kids, hear it in the voices of my peers, and sense it in my own heart.
Our elementary school is a home away from home for students and staff too. It is easy to take that kind of community for granted until you know you’re not going to have it for awhile.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is aching some on the inside for all the connection I know I’ll miss in the next couple of weeks. It’s strange how you can feel a little homeless even while confined to your house. Home is more than just immediate family. It is pushing tables together to accommodate aunts and uncles, cousins, and gammies. It is spontaneous trips with friends to the zoo and piling into the car for a Sonic run. It is circling up to pray or sitting with an open Bible, shoulder to shoulder with precious people of like faith.
These last few days, I’ve found my home again in worship. Looking back, every difficult season of my life has brought me here. To praise. To less of me and more of Him. I sing sometimes, but it’s more than just singing. Like pouring out yesterday’s coffee, it is emptying myself to be filled with something fresh. Like sinking into the most comfortable chair in the house, it is settling into the role I was created to fill. It is remembering and responding to and reciting the faithfulness of God.
Worship can look like a million different things, but it is marked by a heart turned toward Heaven, focused on Jesus. For me, right now, worship looks like crawling into bed with YouTube streaming on the TV. Robert is a night owl, so it’s just me and a playlist full of worship music. I’m singing sometimes and praying sometimes and sometimes just sitting still. After awhile, I realize it’s not just me, because God meant it when He said He would come to us.
“Make me an earthen Altar. Sacrifice your Whole-Burnt-Offerings, your Peace-Offerings, your sheep, and your cattle on it. Every place where I cause my name to be honored in your worship, I’ll be there myself and bless you.”–Exodus 20:24 (MSG, emphasis mine)
Our God doesn’t require animal sacrifices any more. Jesus took care of that at the cross. What He asks for now is a living sacrifice–a life totally surrendered to Him (Roman’s 12:1). Worship prepares us to freely lay down all that we have and everything we are before our trustworthy King.
And when we build an altar–a place of offering–in our own hearts, God promises to meet us there. Oh, how I need God’s presence, with all of the peace and calm and steadiness He brings. It is worth whatever it may cost me in the way of personal surrender.
Worship feels like connection and community. Like stability. Like home.
Day 3: Create some space to worship God today, however that looks for you. Come to Him prepared to release whatever you’ve been holding onto in exchange for all that He offers. Expect to experience His presence and His peace.
God, You are so worthy of my worship. I choose to honor You today with my praise. And even though worship is not about me–You are so good to meet with me in the place of my offering. I want to experience Your peace and Your love more than ever before. Steady me with your presence. Thank you for being my home.
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