I was not going to go to church this morning.
When my alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, I had been awakened since 3. And I was defeated. Worse than defeated, I was in despair. And there was no way I was going to church.
The reason for the defeat, for the despair is not important. It wasn’t one thing, it was a multitude of things. Some physical, some spiritual, some mental, and some just life–like losing a transmission. And a heavy sense of extreme failure at all things–work, parenting, friendship, life. I wanted to stay home. I wanted to go home.
I was not going to go to church.
But a challenge–and kick–from a friend unfortunately, or fortunately, made sense. That, along with the following words from a song by Tommy Walker that came to my mind, and has been in my mind the rest of this day:
When I don’t know what to do (I’ll lift my hands)
When I don’t know what to say (I’ll speak Your praise)
When I don’t know where to go (I’ll run to Your throne)
When I don’t know what to think (I’ll stand on Your truth)
When I don’t know what to do
Each line expresses where I was this morning, where I still am this afternoon. It’s the words in 2 Chronicles 20:12:
“…..We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
I went to church. My girl and I walked to church. I needed the time to walk to church to preach to myself this verse. Because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do with about a dozen different issues on my plate right now. But my eyes need to be on my God, my Jesus. Eyes are important. And when I take my eyes off my Jesus, I become afraid of the wind and the water and I sink, just like Peter. Maybe even worse than Peter. (Matthew 14)
So I went to church. And I worshipped my God by singing in the choir. And I found myself stirred up as we sang these lyrics:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
Because God is still God, and I have a reason to sing, a reason to worship. Because He is truth even when I can not sense Him. Even when I am in despair. Even when the weight of failure falls heavy on my soul.
This is the first Sunday in two years that I remember stepping onto the floor of the sanctuary after worship service. Generally I sit in the balcony and leave immediately. But because I was without transportation this morning, I had to wait on those who were going to give me a ride to lunch and then to home. Which required my stepping onto the sanctuary floor. It’s too complicated to explain why this has been a difficult thing for me to do–to stand down there in the midst of people that I know love and care for me. But today, of all days, there was no choice. I had to go on the floor.
And while on the floor, I was approached and asked to minister tomorrow in a very difficult situation, a heartbreaking situation that is all too familiar to me. Had I not been on the floor, this opportunity may have never been presented, and so I must believe that it is from God, ordained by God. And though sensing my God has been oh so very rare these last several weeks–a season of emptiness, a season of fear even–I have a renewed sense that He sees and knows. And while reliving and discussing difficult things will be challenging to my heart, I pray, I pray that He will direct my words because I don’t know what to do, but my eyes, I hope, will be on Him.