“Aim for heaven and you get earth thrown in, aim for earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis
We’ll be honest. This blog really has nothing to do with homemaking. You won’t find a woman’s expert opinion of the “top 10 ways to have the modern minimalist farm house dream“, though those kind of blogs are intriguing and certainly not bad, we don’t want to give the wrong impression. This blog is meant to speak to the heart of every human (male and female) who are made to create, beautify, strengthen, store up and work diligently! We are humans, given life in order to reflect and glorify God. We do this primarily through what we invest most of our time into.
What you will find here is the way both a man and a woman learn as they desire to see Christ fill all areas of life. From brushing our teeth to talking with co-workers, from changing diapers to doing dishes – all have purpose when done in light of eternity. We hope that the things we learn and share with you in daily life will press you on to look more deeply to Christ in every area of your life too. He is our goal.
Homemaking in Heaven is really just a glorified way of saying “building up treasure in heaven instead of earth” (Matthew 6:21). It’s a phrase that reminds us to to put our hearts not on things of this earth but to look to Christ for our satisfaction and fulfillment. We are not extremists who believe money is bad or that having a home and financial security is unspiritual. It merely is a reminder to our hearts to be set on things of God and not on our all too natural longing for earthly security.
With that we both welcome you to this journey of looking to Jesus in all areas! It could include missions, mothering, fiber optics, friendship making, stories of the past or wonderings of the future – but all with one point. To gain Christ. To be identified by Him alone.
It felt that as fast as my steps went, my heart was beating faster. Scanning the gymnasium full of wedding guests over and over, looking inside and outside going in circles, I couldn’t find my 2 year old anywhere. I was able to keep my emotions paused while I searched for her at first, but after 10 minutes of not knowing where she had gone, they began to push my steps faster as a lump grew in my throat.
It all culminated outside with a: “Mommy! Look what I found!” and there was my smiling little girl, running toward me from a hidden park on the other side of the building with two hands full of playground rocks. I burst into tears saying “Corrie! Where were you? We were looking everywhere for you! You scared us.” The rest of that day I was shaken.
That night as I prayed over Corrie while she slept – the severity of shepherding our children was felt deeply. “She is so naive, Lord!” I cried “She fears nothing! She doesn’t realize she is a sheep in need of a shepherd.“… “I would do anything to keep her safe.” And there in the dark room the Lord taught me a lesson:
“I did everything to keep you safe. I cared more deeply than you did – even to the point of death.”
And there I wept again. Realizing that I had tasted only a piece of the great love our God has for us. He is motivated to draw us to safety. I was comforted in the safety I’ve found in Christ’s life – and I was also challenged by His compassion. He searches for the lost sheep. He leaves the ninety-nine to find that one lost. How aggressively does He love and seek after that one? So very deeply. I tasted that. While God is not tainted by fear like I am, He is the shepherd who knows – and pursues.
If you are feeling the same pain of love for a dear one who is lost (maybe not physically, but spiritually), I hope this is an encouragement to you. He is not passively forgetting about them. He has made every measure possible in preparation for that loved one to be safe. It was for them that He is patently waiting and it is our opportunity to join him in being motivated with that same pain of love. Look to the great shepherd who knows how to draw each heart to himself in safety.
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36
There was a time while Alex and I lived in India that I was asked to play my violin at the Tibetan school’s talent show where we were teaching English. I heartily agreed and started preparing a song with another American friend who would accompany me on the guitar. We met a few times casually to practice and I couldn’t help but wonder why it was so hard to play such a simple song. On the day of our performance, we tuned our instruments together and I discovered why I was struggling so much. My violin had been tuned to itself and was a good two octaves lower than it was supposed to be. That means I was playing by ear to fix the wrong sound and was totally unable to hear the difference till I was aligned with another instrument which had been correctly tuned. It’s a baffling thing when your “A” and their “A” make a totally different sound.
This analogy clarified to me the dire need we believers in Christ have for the body of Christ. The “dire” part is that when we are alone, not tuning ourselves to the Word with the accountability of brothers and sisters… we may not even know we are off. My violin strings were tuned to themselves and I could still play alone without even knowing they were off – until that guitar clarified what a tuned “A” sounded like. Then it was nearly impossible to play with my friend if I was not aligned with the same foundation. It is the same for us dear friends. We need one another speaking into each other’s lives and challenging our life ethic and theology to the Word of God.
We are but sheep. Dumb sheep. And alone, without the accountability and iron sharpening iron… we are MOST susceptible to wrong theology, lies from the enemy and pride. We are humans with the propensity to think that we are enough being a “Lone Ranger” Christian. It sounds like a highly spiritual thing to be! When in reality, the more alone you are, the more vulnerable to pride and the enemy you will become. We are so easily fooled into thinking that we know better than Christians in history or Christians in an organized church that we are led away from the safety net God gave us to keep us close to Him! His people. His kindness keeps us close to others.
For those of us who consider ourselves “conservative Christian” you may be part of or have observed the tendency to do things differently than the mainstream flow of things. You may homeschool your kids, you may choose a more natural way of eating and you may take the health of your family in a more “homeopathic” direction. These things are chosen because you believe there is a better way than the “mainstream” idea. And in fact – it is a very good thing to find what is best for your family. However – when it comes to the church… it can become a very dangerous thing to do.
Your church, both the leaders and the fellow members are there to clarify truth, call out sin and encourage the gifts God has given you to serve the body. While you may have experience of brokenness or leadership abuse within the church… it’s not a reason to retreat. It only further gives reason to be there as an active member of your body! They need you to call out sin and clarify truth as well. Do not fall for the lie that it is “safer” to do church alone. Being in fellowship with believers who are submitted to the Word of God IS God’s design of safety. It is an act of safety to have my sister come to me and remind me to rejoice in all circumstances instead of grumbling. It is an act of safety for our pastor to clarify on confusing or misinterpreted pieces of scripture. What grace we are missing out on when we pull away because it’s hard or because we don’t want to submit to each other in love.
I pray this is an exhortation and encouragement to seek out the community of Christ. Humble yourself before them and God and get connected! There is so much more of Christ to be had when we are sharing in His fellowship with other believers! There is abundant life to be had (and to be shown) through submitting to one another in Christ! We NEED each other.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-11
“When faith presses, And difficulties grow, When life blesses, With all but scorn to know,
When people talk, And look on you with shame, Alone you walk, With undefended blame,
The inward soul is tested, Inside what will you find? One to Christ invested? Or one dimmed light once shined?
Hold on tight. Never let go. Look in faith, Himself He will bestow.”
I wrote this poem a few years ago carrying a heavy weight. A weight of being looked down upon, being gossiped about – being falsely accused. There is nothing more humbling than to be perceived and talked about in a heart trampling way. Have you ever done all you can do to serve and in return be rejected? Have you chosen not to go with the mainstream flow of the crowd (even the so-called “godly” crowd) and been shamed? As Christ followers, you will be faced with these situations.
I notice that in the passage above it doesn’t say the outsiders rejected the prophets – no, the prophets were rejected by God’s people. Those wayward people of God were the ones who were persecuting the messengers who brought God’s call to repent. The people of God rejected the prophets because their obedience to God reflected poorly on their sin-filled lives. Persecution does not always come from outside. In fact, likely if you are walking in obedience to Christ visibly, the first place you will feel it will be with those within the sphere of “believer” who are convicted by your life and don’t like it. While we will be scorned by unbelievers, this is expected. What’s not expected is when it comes from a brother. There, in vulnerability of being looked down on before the body – where will you go?
Rejoice and be glad, it says? Being an obedient follower of Christ will bring light to dark places in your life and in others. It says yours is the kingdom of heaven! While you may not be given honor or respect in this world by those who don’t want to conform to the light – your promise is that the Kingdom of Heaven is yours! You are conforming to what His kingdom looks like and those that want to look holy but don’t want to give up their life for it will scorn you. So rejoice, my friend, when you walk in obedience and are rejected for it. You gain Christ in return. As this earth molds itself to its own pattern, we must continue in contrast to mold ourselves to Christ! Take heart, brother or sister, His kingdom is worth any persecution or shame you may endure. So…
“…Hold on tight. Never let go. Look in faith, Himself He will bestow.”
This is part of my story. No, all the specifics may not apply to you, but I pray it can exhort and remind you, dear brother or sister, of how He has brought us out of our “futile ways” into being called “holy” by the precious blood.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:14-19
“Chubby Emily” was a phase I had during Jr. High. She was measured against all her skinny-mini friends and (literally) just didn’t “fit in”. Ha. I can remember a time at youth group where all the boys compared all the girls (in code, of course, to avoid supervision) by their own measuring stick. My close girl friends got coded as “hot” – and me? Well – I got put into the “not so hot” category.
That feeling of being counted as second or inferior drove me to work out more, obsess about what I ate and carry a burden of guilt on my shoulders that only I could fix by analyzing every ounce of food I ate. It was a prison. My value would rise when I felt good about my body and then plummet when I made a mistake. It was endless pressure to be perfect. There was no happiness unless I was being pristinely strict – and of course being strict never makes you happy either.
Don’t you think it’s funny that even when in Jr. High and I didn’t follow Jesus very personally yet – that I still measured my value with complete perfection. At that point my value was completely built on how I felt I looked. If it was not perfect – I was in the lowest of low. Do you see that in the passage above, God also speaks in terms of value with perfection? “Be holy as I am holy”.
His version of perfection was not built on a currency that we use. It’s not on money, not on the measure of a perfect body, not on the scores of your grades or on your respectability or qualifications… He says be holy like He is holy. That means PERFECT. How does this happen? Well – as a daughter or son of God Almighty, we know it’s through a different currency.
The currency of Christ. No longer does our value waffle in terms of our own currency, just trying to be enough. No. These are the “futile ways” Peter talks about. When we are filled with the spirit of God and repent of those ways – we begin to live according to a whole different measure of value! And this is FREEDOM. Do you remember brothers and sisters? Remember what it feels like to be freed from your burdens of having to be perfect? Remember what happened when Jesus took that idol from your hands that you used to ceaselessly spend in order to feel valuable? Remember how when Christ becomes your value, true joy follows? You are fulfilled and satisfied. The command to be holy is possible because it rests in the perfection of the one you now worship. Not you anymore. It is a worship of your God when you spend your life looking through the lens of the value He brings to the table.
I was gently reminded of these things when I found myself, at the end of this third trimester, being overwhelmed with pity due to the all-time high my scale showed me. I sat in tears at the end of my bed as I sniffed out the words to my husband: “how can you love me like this?”. What hit me then is what prompted this post. My husband fell in love with me and I fell in love with him – because we both valued Christ as our currency. Not what we looked like, not what we were able to prove or accomplish to each other. It was Jesus. I fell in love with Alex because he saw Christ as precious and He fell in love with me because Jesus was my life. Christ was our currency.
It is too easy to forget, to get distracted or pick up old idols that draw our hearts to give them perfection in our own merit. Do not be deceived! Remember His precious blood. The perfect, holy blood that gives you value. Think through the lens of building up treasure in His kingdom by gaining more and more of Christ. He is our currency now.
It’s hard to describe what emotion was hitting as we were driving to Children’s Hospital last year on this day, knowing I was in labor 16 weeks too early. The best way to describe our mindset is that emotion was not the leader. Emotion was strangely lacking and the best way to describe it is simply a “waiting”. It was very clear that things were out of our hands, probably the most clear example of our life! The position of soul was not fighting or pleading or wishing or wanting… just waiting. “What is God doing?” “My God is with me and I trust Him.” These would be a few phrases that might sum up the attitude.
And that was just it – we were waiting to see which gift He would give us. A gift of a miracle in stopping the labor and continuing this fragile pregnancy or the gift of saying hello and goodbye to our second daughter. Both were gifts of grace – things we didn’t earn out of our goodness or lack of goodness, but rather opportunities to glorify our God with whatever gift He chose and to build up His church. Her name Anna Nicole meant “Grace is our Victory” not because grace is the only aspect of salvation – but because it was an unmerited gift that we have anything at all. Or in other words, Karma has no place in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s my second daughter’s first birthday today… and while I have SO many different things I could share, all I can do is testify of the great honor it has been to carry the gift that our God chose in her death on this day last year. We have seen only a spurring on in faith and trust in Jesus that the gift of a miracle would not have given. We have been given opportunities to share the gospel because of it and been able to learn to look with so much expectation of heaven. I keep thinking that today we are not remembering Anna’s death, but that we are celebrating a WHOLE YEAR of her being in the presence of Jesus Himself. Parents like to be proud of their children and I am so proud of what Jesus has done with my Anna. My daughter has taught me to trust in faith in the one I can only imagine seeing and better yet – she has surpasses me and KNOWN His face intimately for a whole year. It is a much greater accomplishment than anything I could hope for her here in this life.
Happy Birthday Anna. We are honored to have been chosen to be your parents. The gift of your life has changed ours and when we think of you – we are reminded of the closeness and dearness of the One who you have taught us to trust explicitly. We Thank God for every day of those 24 weeks and trust He will only continue to use your birthday to be a reminder of His every GOOD GIFT. He knows best.
I used to be obsessed with the fact that ONLY Wyoming, Delaware could EVER be called my “home”. Stuck to tradition and the love for deep meaning, another place simply could never hold the depth of what my growing up life held. That had been challenged deeply at the age of 14 when my family moved from my “home” to Branson, Missouri where we lived in just a “house”, as I would purposefully call it. I was very determined to never make it my “home.” But something happened when I turned 16 while on a mission trip in Alaska, shortly after I was baptized. Jesus showed up in my life and started revealing himself to me in an even deeper way than I thought was possible. Deeper than my love for Wyoming, Delaware and deeper than anything else as stable as what “home” used to hold for me. Jesus was taking me out of my own terms of stability, and reteaching me about how He was now my home.
This is what happens in the life of those who choose to follow Jesus. Slowly but surely, our God not only takes what used to be our life and turn our affection to Him – but He uses what was dear to us to show us how dear He is. My depth of love for what was secure in my life before (my home in Delaware) taught me just how much MORE of a security HE was than any home or place or tradition ever could be.
Though you have a different story than I do in finding and knowing Jesus – we as believers are ALL going in the same direction (seeking after Jesus) and are all given the same resource – His very Spirit. Not only do we have His Word that teaches and instructs us about who He is, but we have His very Spirit to make every single moment of our life and act of worship to our Lord. Do you realize we (Christians) are now walking, talking homes of the living God? (1 Corinthians 6:17-19). That means that everything we touch, everything we say is potential for God to lead and direct you to reveal Himself to this world! Ultimately any job, any task and any conversation turn into a holy worship of the living God. If you are filled with His Spirit – home is where He is. Therefore “homemaking” is simply walking in obedience to Jesus. (Matthew 6:19-21)
For some of you, your homemaking is not the traditional “mother, keeper of a home”. And that is just fine! God is not limited to one kind of “homemaking”. If His Spirit is going with you to the corporate workplace or to the coffee shop shift or to classes at school… those places are your setting to reveal your home of holy worship (Jesus in you). He uses you, His tool, to manifest himself in those places and THAT is the best kind of homemaking. Allowing Him (walking in obedience) to transform mundane settings with a touch of His Spirit.
Truly brother and sister… all that you do is holy. When we join our God in the mission of revealing Himself to this world – He makes every piece of life (singleness, married, doing dishes or writing a paper) an act of holy worship (1 Corinthians 10:31). Can you imagine the excellence of our tasks and the joy-filled countenance that would exude from our lives? My the world be blown away by the hope we possess (1 Peter 3:15).
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” – Elizabeth Elliot
Here is a short meditation Emily wrote about the joy of acceptance when following Jesus. It can only ever be sourced from a firm faith in a good God who is worthy of trust at all times.
“Behold me, here I am; thy little handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy and all that is in my heart is thine.” – Hinds Feet on High Places
I was struck by the response of Mary, the mother of Jesus, recently. Her words in response to the angel visiting her were very similar to that of the quote above. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” They are both statements of surrender and of trust.
We think in our own context that this request to be the mother of Jesus was a privilege, an honor or simply a surprise. But Mary’s questions and response show us that she knew very well what she was signing up for… and it wasn’t honor. It was shame. She knew that having a baby before she was married would drastically change the trajectory of her life.
“How can this be since I have been with no man?” This was a much deeper question that just… “How does getting pregnant work?”. This is Mary, expressing her purity, her choice to live an honorable life before her betrothed and yet carry the son on God in her womb? How is it possible? And by her response “I am your servant…” we see that she was accepting the implications of being His servant. By giving her life to be used by God, she was agreeing to let her pure, holy, upstanding reputation be put to shame. She was allowing God to give her the gift of this baby… AND to give her a gift of suffering to go along.
This is what I’d like to refer as “The Gift of Acceptance”. Like the beloved book “Hinds Feet on High Places” and Mary’s story, letting God change their lives was made of pain and sorrow – but ALL while allowing God to move into their lives. Could it be that God wants us all to respond like these trusting women with open hands and accept with joy whatever form of Himself he sets in the palm of our hands?
Do we see obedience to Jesus more important than our comfort? Because we will one day come face to face with the reality that following Jesus will mean shame and sorrow (a cross). Is He worth it? What things might end up being a sacrifice to be called His Own?
Exhorting a friend with truth
Turning your eyes away from darkness in a room of friends who welcome it
Fasting from worldly desires in order to gain heavenly ones
These are small examples of ways you may have to accept with joy the task of following Jesus. I pray friend, that as you approach new ways of obedience to Christ He would give you the same eyes as Mary to accept with joy that precious, precious gift. The sorrow that brings forth everlasting life! And oh He is worth it!
I turned beet red. My stomach dropped to my toes and I shrunk in my seat. I had never been more embarrassed in my life! My Bible teacher had just used my homework as an example of “what not to do” in Doctrinal Canon Testing class. The paper I had been up late the night before just trying to get done was anonymously used before the whole class. They didn’t know it was me – but I did. I took an easy sounding passage of Scripture COMPLETELY out of it’s context in a class that was suppose to be teaching me to do the opposite! As I left that class and faced my teacher on the way out, I sheepishly said to him “I don’t fear you more because of this… I fear the Word of God more.“
This memory used to be one of my least favorites during my Bible training season. However now, almost 7 years after that occurrence, it is the single most valuable memory which I now rejoice over having! Why? Well, I’ll tell you!
I was given a verbal “spanking” of sorts that caused me to be so fully ashamed of mishandling the Word of God in front of my peers that, the class stuck. All of it. I didn’t know how much I needed that instruction OR that its subject would become so extremely applicable to my life in the years to come.
Whether you know it or not, what you believe will come out of who you are – but you may not realize that your Christian perspective has been built up by teachers, theology, songs, podcasts, books, YouTube videos and many, many more things… but not by the Word of God. This is why as Believers in the Truth (the ONE truth, Jesus), we must TEST everything we listen to, read or hear to the whole of Scripture.
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
This is Paul we are talking about, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ! He of all people you would think should be easy enough to accept as truth for the Berean Jews… but no. They tested his words against the whole of Scripture and proved them to line up! Not only that, but they received it with great eagerness! When you have found the truth of life – it is only through that truth that more life comes.
Unfortunately, all too often are we taken up by good-sounding words or songs or books that we have not tested by the one source of truth. This fools our hearts and leads us down a path that looks like light… but is changing the trajectory of the straight and narrow. It disguises itself as “truth” and looks like “really good information” – but when it does not lead us to Jesus, we find ourself on a path away from him. Those paths can look like very holy things like Bible study, missions or family culture, but they end in a different truth than Jesus being your life. This was the same warning Paul was giving to the church at Colossae and to the young Timothy who could so easily be caught up in something besides Christ.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” Colossians2:18-20
“…Remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:3b-4
Remember brothers and sisters, in this time where even our government is changing so quickly… Jesus is still your life. Jesus is the rock that you should be obsessed about and the world should look at us and say “I need that rock”. Your confidence and joy should only grow stronger as this world grows dimmer! Let us be known for being a people who are about HIM and nothing else.
Have you ever thought that your insecurity is actually a gift?
“Whoa, slow down there, Missy...” you might be saying, thinking I am a bit bold to put a label on that part of your life. And, yes – it is bold to bring out what you would normally try to cover up. But I hope that this subject will actually be something that can cause what is “dishonorable” in your mind to be a blessing for your brothers and sisters in Christ. What I mean to say clearly is that yes, even your insecurities can be something God redeems for His glorious purpose! It is never for nothing.
This blog post was prompted by a conversation I was having with a friend about our insecurities in our personalities. In a world that is so enthralled with personality tests, self-care, and career-driven identities, it is so easy to look at your personality and make it something that is centered on you. But what do you do with the things in yourself you are not proud of? What happens with the areas that are not presentable? In our culture, they are hidden, put away, and covered up. Our fleshly nature is so self-driven that if something is not building your reputation in the way you want it to, it’s best to not be brought up at all. But friend, this is not the perspective that God has over the weak areas of your life. As believers, our minds must be transformed to think the way He does in this area.
Your insecurity should not cause you to shrink into yourself but to be passionate about the body of Christ. I have always hated that my mind is not as fast as my mouth wants it to be. I have always wanted to be that person who is able to say something witty or keen in the middle of a conversation that would cause my companions to respect me or laugh at my charm, but that is where Emily’s weakness comes in. My inability causes me to look inward when as a believer it can actually be the prompt to appreciate and love each member of the body more deeply. We don’t function as an example of Christ alone! We function working alongside each other with both our strengths and our weaknesses. We as a WHOLE are a display of Christ. Where I am weak, you may be strong and if we join in God’s purposes together – our lives display what only the Spirit can do. Unity within differences.
What if I didn’t draw away when feeling my weakness like my flesh wants to and instead ask for my brother or sister to join me where they are strong? Or instead of being inward about how I don’t naturally do one thing well, I use my ability to observe it in others and encourage them in their God-given talent do what I can’t! Then my life is not bearing the fruit of selfish thinking, but it is using my weakness to build up the body in love. That is when your insecurity can be a gift. When it is used outwardly. Your lack could be in many different areas of life, but there is nothing too low to be used to glorify our God’s redeeming nature.
Your insecurity has value. It may, in the flesh, be that thing that causes you to stumble the most, but in the Spirit, it can be the single most powerful tool that God uses to encourage and bless the body of Christ. We should be marked by the Spirit of God and the Spirit humbles and edifies using even our weak things to bring forth strength.
So brother or sister, remember who created you and that He didn’t mess up by putting weak areas in your life. It is those areas that give you a chance to need other members of the body and be a display of Christ. Embrace them, thank Him for them, and let them cause you to join your brothers and sisters in life with words and actions that build up. You display the nature of God by being different yet being one! Can you see that even the weak things have an extremely important purpose?!
1 Corinthians 12:21-26 “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.“
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.“
2 Corinthians 12:9 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“
2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.“
Everyone had gone. Even my husband had left to run an errand and I sat alone in my hospital bed. My heart and mind were too full to think clearly – but my soul longed to declare and remember truth. I gathered the strength to hobble over to the bedside couch (which my husband claimed as his bed) where a borrowed guitar was left for us to use. The songs flowed. If anyone heard my shaky voice they would not have been able to understand, but I did, and He did. And that was enough.
“As the sun begins to rise in that moment You are God, In the darkness of the night, even then You are God. In the dust, in the heights you remain You are God, Give me breath and give me life and I will say – You are God.” – In Every Way By Christy Nockels
There is a reason the Word is described as a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12-13). It defines what is true in your soul and in mine. The Word brings definition to what truth is in that moment. And in that moment sometimes all you know how to do is sing truth with tears choking every word. This is freedom. When all round you is screaming “WHAT HAPPENED?!” – The rock of Jesus Christ never changes. He remains your life, even when the wave of your circumstances have pummeled you to the ground and left you in shock.
Song unto the Lord is not meant to be complicated, perfect, or systematic. You don’t have to have the gift of music to declare truth. You don’t have to have an elegant arrangement to come before the throne. You also don’t need it to fit a certain way or style. All you need is the truth. That truth leads you into the depths of your security – relationship with God Almighty. This flows naturally though thanksgiving, praise, declaration, and quiet rest. His word is not merely for theology and study – it becomes a practical TOOL that becomes a shield from the lies, fears, and doubts that cloud our human weaknesses through a truth-filled melody! Though I am no expert of music or any sort of worship leader – I am as a Christian, a worshipper. Every situation that is laid before me is an opportunity to see it in light of God’s truth and to declare that truth in the face of it. Believers are called believers for a reason. We believe. When things are happy and when things are hard.
Songs are what you could call an object lesson of God’s nature. A creative, beautiful display of showing off who God is both though words and through melody. We are the one’s whose lives are the platform for such an object lesson to mean anything! And may God gain glory through the platform of your life. So sing dear brother and sister! Sing when you are afraid and sing when you are overwhelmed. Sing when you can’t think and sing when you have too much emotionally to handle. Sing the truth as loudly as it takes for your soul to be reminded of who your God is. And in that place, He will be faithful to remind you. He is clarity in the fog and gives us songs of worship and praise from the Word to see the light in darkness.
My heart cried out in that hospital room with confusion of my situation having just said goodbye to my daughter – who died in my arms. What I needed in that moment was not an answer or another option … I needed a rock. And this was the nature of my Rock that I sang from my wobbly voice:
“I know you do all things well… I know you do all things well…I know you do all things well…”
Believe it. Sing it. Declare it. He does ALL things well. Continually – return to the rock.