I sing on the worship team at my AMAZING church. I am blessed that God placed me on, allows me to be part of, and am able to sing praises to Him through that ministry. However, I tend to get emotional when I sing. Ok, that’s not true, I get emotional always. In fact I have a running joke with my pastor that if he would just stop talking about Jesus, I’d be all good.
So…seeing as how this Sunday is Easter Sunday, and because sermons tend to be about Jesus on Easter Sunday, I am seriously considering tear duct removal. Especially during the worship set. We will be singing a new song: “Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him With Many Crowns.” Oh my word, I have YET to make it through without making that horrific-scrunched-up-overt-your-eyes-this-is-going-to-get-ugly cry face.
Just yesterday I was talking to a friend about that song, asking her to pray for strength to get through it, and she responded with:
“I listened to the CD a lot last night, and had it on YouTube this morning. And yes, LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that song!!! I can see why you shed a few tears…but then again…it’s YOU. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!! Honestly, all joking aside… I WISH I could get that choked up over Jesus’ love for me. I’m SOOO THANKFUL for what He’s done in my life, but I never had the life changing ‘Ah Ha’ moment. Maybe it’s because I was saved at such a young age…? Anyway, I wish I had your heart.”
I wrote a story about that exact thing a while ago now… wondering why more people don’t get choked up. My daughter, Sydney, at the time told me, “it’s probably because you remember who you used to be and where you came from.” (Yeah, talk about insight from a 9 year old!)
That’s definitely part of it. I PRAY for a testimony like my friend’s for all of my kids. I long for them to live a Psalm 119 life – without regret and to know and walk closely with Christ their entire life. I do know I wouldn’t be who I am today, had I understood His sacrifice early on.
I have heard it said, “it is easier for a child to perceive and receive spiritual truth than an adult to do so.” That’s where my tears come from… the fact that I could’ve missed it.
“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:5
I was like so many… I loved myself so much that I didn’t care about God, didn’t want Him in my life, and didn’t think I needed Him. I am so grateful that God called, allowed me to hear and understand Him, and especially that He waited patiently and continued to call!
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
My friend does have a heart like mine…she has just had it longer.
I Cry God
Why don’t more people cry at church? Especially those who know Jesus personally?
I can’t get through a song, much less a sermon about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for me, without a tear.
Ok, that’s an under-exaggeration.
I lose it when I think about what Jesus has saved me from. I don’t just shed a tear or two, I sob. And it’s not like those fortunate souls who look all beautiful; tears glistening down their cheeks and a grateful smile on their face…
No, I look more like the elephant man; face deformed and puckered up, chin wobbly, body shaking, long trailing mascara tears resting in pools under my eyes, silvery unbreakable strings of snot…
and not a tissue in sight.
People so often embrace me and lovingly ask if I’m ok, if I need anything, wondering what I’m struggling with and how they can help.
Oh what they don’t understand is that I am truly a mess and so unworthy…
“…you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…” Revelation 3:17b
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6a
Each one of those messy, slimy, dirty tears are in grateful adoration of the One who sees past the mascara stains, past the ignorance of my childhood, past the selfishness I harbor…
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…” Jeremiah 17:9
“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:12
Oh for the love that my God has displayed for me…
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
For the joy that is so readily available and easily given…
“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13b
For the peace He so desperately wants us to enjoy…
“… we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1b
For the forgiveness He wants each of us to feel…
“He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.” Micah 7:18b
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Those messy tears of mine are because I know my Jesus loves me. I know the muck He pulled me out of and continually goes back to drag me out time and time again.
“How many kings stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts?
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?”
–“How Many Kings” by Christian Artist Downhere
I know the unbelievable and horrific suffering Christ took in my place, and although I may look like a sloppy mess, my soul cries out in admiration and delight. I NEVER want to take that gift for granted…
…and my God sees it as beautiful.