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March 09, 2013

knee jerk worship

I woke up ill yesterday. All morning, I was feeling awful, heavy. Trying to work, only to head back to bed again; wondering what was wrong.  I was frustrated to be sick yet again; it's become all too common since I moved to this continent.

Suddenly, in the early afternoon, my body took care of the problem. It expelled the alien substance that was making me ill. I haven't vomited since grade three. But Asia has changed things. Thank you, Asia.

Actually, I am thankful.

Because even in those moments, as I was getting cleaned out, I had a few split seconds of awe. Awe that He designed our bodies so masterfully. Awe at the mechanisms the Creator put in place. Awe that He trained my body to do exactly what I needed: get rid of whatever was making me sick. What sovereignty, wisdom and kindness came up with such a system?

My coworkers cleaned up my mess, brought me tea and toast in bed, and rounded up fresh coconut water. (There's nothing like throwing up to make you feel legit in taking the rest of the day off.) Lounging on my bed, I thought about those split seconds of awe in the middle of distress, and realized: this is what we train for. This is why we immerse ourselves in Him. This is why He works to transform our minds. The Father is drawing us to the place where our knee jerk reaction to any circumstance (puking or paralysis, Typhoid or thick traffic) is that of worship. In my illness, I had a small taste of this.

Worship isn't a normal human response during a vomiting session. My normal human response was more along the lines of frustration: sick, again? But He is work in us, enabling us to do all for His glory. Enabling us to see the circumstances of life as pathways to worship.

He didn't promise life would guide us down broad, even paths, lined with well-tended geraniums. Sometimes the road we tread is one of sharp rocks. Steep inclines. Narrow passes.

Cancer or prolonged health problems.
Stillbirth or miscarriages.
Handicaps and children with extraordinary struggles.
Barrenness or singleness. 
Marital struggles and divorce.
Loneliness. Accidents. Death.

We hope that when those circumstances come along, we'll triumphantly rise over them. But the best soldiers aren't recruited one day and put on the front lines the next. A seed doesn't start bearing fruit the day it is planted. It is rare that investments earn whopping amounts of interest overnight. Job didn't just determine to be a banner of hope to people in suffering situations. He first had a consistent reputation for being "blameless and upright, and one who feared G0d and shunned evil." He would "rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings....thus Job did regularly." Worship was a regular thing for him, not a Sunday thing, not a when-others-are-looking thing. It was constant and it was sincere. Because of this, when multiple tragedies came, he stayed the course: he kept worshiping.

If you're in a narrow pass right now, set up a place of worship there. Watch how Job suffered without sinning.

But if your season is a joyous one, follow Job's example during his joyous years. Fear G0d, shun evil. Cultivate a lifestyle of worship. Then, when struggles reach inside of you and expose you for who you really are, they'll find a worshiper of the deepest, truest kind. The kind birthed by G0d Himself. To Him be the glory.


  1. I have never been thankful while vomiting or blowing my nose, but I'll have to look at even those things through a different glass now. Thanks for the challenge. I was talking to a man I know who has been struggling with a sleep disorder over the last few years. He said that it was amazing what HE was teaching him during this time. From a Sunday faith to an everyday one. What a challenge that is!

  2. Kendra, thanks for your feedback. I think the novelty of throwing up (you know, since I don't do it much) had something to do with my thoughts while doing so. But either way, it made me think about how He can so infiltrate our thoughts that He comes to mind at any moment.

    Grateful to have some fellowship with you through ye olde blog :) Be blessed!