I caught a glimpse of her as she entered the crowded doorway. There was a glow about her; a presence; a peaceful joy shining from her face. She hurriedly moved my way and we enjoyed our weekly hug.
The room was vibrating with contagious joy and excitement as we fellowshipped with other Touching Hearts sisters. Our worship leader began quietly playing at the keyboard and voices began to rise in praise to our God. The words of the songs were all expressions of faith in Him.
“Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus. How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er.
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus, Oh, for grace to trust Him more."
There she sat on the back row in humble worship. Tears flowed down her cheeks like a dammed up river longing to turn loose. Her friend reached for the tissues and quickly placed them in her hand as a gift of love and comfort. Not that the tissues could stop this rushing river, but it was as if they soothed her heart cry.
Just a few months prior, in the heat of a summer day, she buried her youngest son. To her, I’m sure the months seem like just yesterday and forever at the same time. A sudden, shocking death at the end of many months of surgery and pain management from a horrendous motorcycle accident. No answer to the numerous calls, only to be found resting in peace. Peace in the arms of Jesus.
How could it end like this? How could it be?
Since the death of her precious son, I have listened and leaned in close to watch how Nancy does it. How she grieves such great loss. I see! It is her faith in God. She believes Him to be who He says He is, not who He appears to be in her circumstance. She loves Him and she trusts in Him, because she has proved Him over and over. Her faith is found to be solid, deep and wide.
A faith so real and true that I see the real answer sitting there on the back row. With tears running down her face, yet her lips moving in praise, she slowly wipes the rush of tears and then I saw it. I am astounded at the visual God is allowing me to catch a glimpse of.
It is a very holy moment.
I get it God! I have found her secret!
She suddenly lifts the tear soaked tissue into the air to worship the Lord. This was no poor, pitiful me tissue waving, but a joyful surrender to her Lord. It continued as she dabbed her tear soaked face and then lifted her hand in worship. I had watched Nancy wave her tissue in worship for many years, but this was different. It was different today, because the tissue held her broken worship. Her gut wrenching tears of grief held up to her Savior in worship.
Do you see it?
Our brokenness; our tears; our questions; our anger offered up to Him is true worship. A beautiful pouring out to Him in surrender.
There is nothing magical about it, but it is real, alive and very much supernatural. It is the peace that passes all understanding spoken of in Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Progressing through every stage of grief, she declares she finds Him faithful. As she asks the hard questions of God, and shakes her fists and cries from the deep canyon of pain, she chooses joy and she chooses to believe “You are God and You Are Good”. Standing over a sink full of dirty dishes she declares this truth over and over and over, washing away her pain and despair. As the dirty dishwater runs from the sink, so the anger and doubts, unanswered questions and deep grief run out transformed into worship.
Nancy and I have shared a favorite verse for many years. After worship, she told me she now understands why God made this verse so precious to her. Years ago, He prepared her just as He prepares you and me.
Today, Nancy and I share our verse with you. As you wait for Him in the middle of your circumstance, we pray this for you:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13