Monday, November 7, 2011

Worship God Anyway!

Several Sunday afternoons/evenings for the past couple of months, you might find me at my friend, Jill's, house. Jill and I have been friends for right at about 7 years. She was my first Sunday School teacher after moving back to the area and attending the church we do now. We've discovered through the years that we have a lot in common, and even though Jill serves at another church now, we've remained in touch.

As a matter of fact, Jill was at my home when the news of Chris' death was delivered to me.

She's a divorced, single mom and has been for many years, but her single mom status has never kept her from doing for others and being a faithful friend to me. She delivered casseroles to our family after two surgeries that I had fairly recently. She and her college-aged daughter came over and cleaned the house for us in the early weeks following Chris' death. She helped to financially support my mission trip to Africa in June, 2010 - even though I know she lives within a VERY tight budget. She's prayed for me on countless occasions - a gift no price tag can be placed upon!

And so...about a month after Chris died, I received her news. I was shocked and saddened to learn my friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer! Honestly, I've known of many, many people that have had cancer, but Jill is the first single lady close to me that I knew to receive the diagnosis.

I immediately prayed...for the obvious...HEALING! But, I also prayed that she would be surrounded by love and care! As I know all too well, it's very difficult to be single and go through something so tragic. I prayed she wouldn't have to beg for help but that people would simply respond. They would not wait to be asked but would do the asking. It's so hard to ask for help, but people can't read your mind also, so I prayed that God would give Jill strength to ask when needed but would allow His Spirit to speak to those in her support network to do SOMETHING...anything!

She's shared that she's been abundantly blessed with a large support system! Praise God! But, she's also been very lonely in recent days. Jill admits that having visitors helps to take her mind off the pain from the chemo.

And, so I visit. I love to visit as much as I can on Sunday afternoons. We never seem to have a loss of conversation. We each share about the painful journeys we're walking right now, although drastically different (yet interestingly similar).

Yesterday was a difficult day for Jill. She was in a lot of pain and nausea had returned (that had amazingly been gone since being on this new chemo drug). She was exhausted. And yet...she still wanted to worship! She expressed that she hadn't been able to worship God with anyone else in quite awhile, as she's usually very sick on Sundays. Therefore, would I consider doing her cancer Bible study with her? Of course! I would love to - any chance to study the Word with someone gets me giddy (even in these difficult circumstances).

She hands me her Bible and the study book opened to that day's study. She then shared, "You're going to think I planned this, but I promise I didn't." I looked down at the title of the lesson...Worship God Anyway! We had just finished talking about this very thing. I shared that sometimes I just gravitate towards God - not getting enough of Him. But there are the other days. The ones when my grief seems so thick that I can hardly get out of bed, let alone spend time in worship, but I have to do it anyway. it was, staring me in the face. I smiled. That God of mine...such a sense of humor He has! As I read her study aloud to her...I'm the one that's blessed! I see scripture over and over that reinforces the concept of worshiping God anyway! And then I see THAT scripture...the one that has been following for me around for awhile...the one that I even used on my husband's funeral program:

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree does not bud 
   and there are no grapes on the vines, 
though the olive crop fails 
   and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen 
   and no cattle in the stalls, 
YET I will rejoice in the LORD, 
   I will be joyful in God my Savior. (emphasis added by me)

YET...I will rejoice! YET...I will worship! YET...I will praise Him!

Even through the tears...I worship Him.
Even on the Tuesdays and Wednesdays (my hardest days each week)...I worship Him.
Even on this Monday, as I battle a nasty stomach bug...I worship Him.
Even though I don't know how I'll get through my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my Chris...I will worship Him.

Even when I don't feel like it...YET...I choose to worship God anyway!


  1. I am blown away by the fact that God speaks to us so intimately and specifically into the hidden chambers of our hearts and deep thoughts in our minds.

    Your post reminded me of how the word says we are to offer a sacrifice of praise (Hebrew 13:15). Praising God is not a feeling; its a lifestyle which when we adapt enables us to continue praising God in spite of life's storms...because ultimately...He is worthy to be praised.

    Love you!