Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Restore

The worship night this past weekend was, for me, excellent. If you were there, thanks for coming, I hope you were able to worship God. Here is what made it great for me. Going into it I was tired. A part of me wanted to go home and sleep, and had I not had the prior commitment of leading worship for a night of worship, I would have. But, I pressed on. Certainly I was excited to play with Carl, Justin, and Rick. I was also excited to hear Rick and his friend Mike open up the evening. When I took the stage, I had a lot going through my mind. I was concerned that the whole thing was too loud for some of the people there. We set it up more like a concert, lights down in the room, sound system louder than a Sunday morning, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t want to hear people say anything about it being too loud. Once we started playing, though, I just let it go. I just focused on singing to God, I forgot the crowd of people in front of me, and I really was in another realm.

It’s been awhile since I’ve just worshiped so freely…and, even though it was a refreshing evening of time with God, I felt like I could have given more. I felt like I was still holding on to some things that I needed to let go. I went to bed Saturday night feeling like I wasn’t giving everything that night. The good news is that on Sunday morning I got to lead worship again. The crowd was different, the sound wasn’t as loud, the lights were not completely off in the room. However, I let go of some other stuff that I needed to let go of the night before, and it was right. It was one of those worship times (both Saturday night and Sunday morning) that really clicked. Not because the crowd was really into it, or the band was really tight, or the sound was perfect…but because for a moment, I knew that I stood in the presence of God. For a moment, I knew that he triumphed over all of my fears…all of my cares…all of my short-comings…all of my sin. He’s bigger than me and my tired self. And for a moment on Saturday night and Sunday morning collectively, I knew that.

And then I walk away, go to meetings, reply to emails, make phone calls…and forget. I forget the words that he’s spoken to me. I forget the things he’s done for me…and I’m not just talking about dying (which if that’s all he ever did, he’s still worth it)…I’m talking about the times when cash has showed up in the mail when we were short on money to pay the bills…I’m talking about providing jobs for me when I needed them…I’m talking about keeping me extremely healthy so that I can keep the pace that I keep…I’m talking about giving me an incredible wife...an incredible family…incredible friends…I’m talking about trusting me to pastor people. I forget all of these things so often and get caught up in the difficulty of life…the pain, the suffering, the hunger, the depravity…and I’m overwhelmed. And yet, for some reason, I’ve been called to help bring people out of this hell that we’ve put ourselves in.

The depths are too deep…

The sorrow too thick…

The pain too intense…

The sadness too overwhelming…

The tears too quick…

The sin too much…

The sickness too crippling…

For me

Monday, February 26, 2007

Just Like That...

It's funny how plans change so quickly. We were gearing up for a youth group party at our house on Sunday night...everything was in place. I was ready to head to Spring Arbor on Monday afternoon with JR, then I get the call that my mom fell on ice and broker her hip. So here we are in Pigeon on a Monday morning getting ready to go hang out at the hospital.

Pray for her...quick recovery and that she's back at her normal life soon.

Much Love,
Jake