This weekend was good.
Saturday we had a church-wide work day, and lots of hard work was done by all. I helped our youth pastor re-paint the entire youth room (which was not in the original plan for the day, but okay.) It was exhausting yet fulfilling at the same time. There is something to be said of blasting your favorite Christian music and then just going to town with some paint. Being surrounded by good friends is icing on the cake. And I *heart* icing.
Sunday was really good though. Really good. Our church service was one of those services that you just want to stay in for hours even though you’re hungry and you won’t be first in line at the restaurant.
I’ll be totally honest though: at the start of it, my heart was not really in the right place. I was tired from the day before, stressed about the rest of my day’s to-do list, and distracted from the millions of thoughts running wild through my mind. As the worship portion of our service began, I did not want to be leading worship that day. I did not feel like lifting my hands or singing loud or praying/speaking in front of everyone. I felt like going back home and going back to sleep. It’s not that I didn’t love God that morning; it’s just that I really didn’t feel like meeting with Him. I was “doing church” that day, not taking the time to actually slow down and worship and grow my relationship with Him.
That changed about half-way through the first song, when I saw how excited the congregation was to worship. There was an energetic buzz in the room and it was contagious. It snapped me out of my distractions and reminded me of all the reasons why I needed to push pause on my busy life and just be there. The Holy Spirit woke me up. So it was no real surprise to me when He laid something on my heart to speak to the congregation….and then He took over our whole service. We wound up spending the whole service singing and praying. There was no sermon, but that was okay. The weight of His presence was everywhere. It was beautiful and humbling and definitely more than I expected to experience when I walked into church that morning. But it was exactly what we needed. We needed to just take some time to rest in His presence and that is exactly what we did.
Logical thinking would say that I would be the last person God would decide to use yesterday morning. To my shame, I don’t think I opened my Bible one time last week. I opened my mouth when I shouldn’t have and spoke harshly of a coworker. I was distracted and tired and in no spiritual shape to be of any use. But God is not logical in our sense of the word. And He is more than capable of taking a mess and molding it into something He can use….I think that’s one of the things that I love most about Him.
He can take a 22 year old girl who spent an entire year of her life running away from God and turn her into something more than she thought possible. He can take a girl who was afraid to speak up in high school….who was nerdy and funny-looking and made fun of by her peers and give her words to say and courage to speak them to an entire congregation. He can take a girl who once thought of herself as worthless and turn her into His princess. He does that. It’s not anything that I do, absolutely not! But all God needs from me is my love for Him and a willingness to obey….He does the rest.
If you looked at the staff of our church, okay really the whole church too, you wouldn’t see much. We are a motley crew who don’t have a whole lot of things together. I think the majority of us are ADD and the rest of us act like it. We are silly and young and sometimes completely immature. We sin and make a mess of things a whole lot of time. But we are 100% on fire for God and desperately want to see Him move. And for some crazy reason He has decided to use us to change our city. He has brought us through trials and tribulations and is using us to craft a story that is beyond belief.
Last night I couldn’t sleep, and I told God that I was largely incapable and inadequate to do much of anything. I am by no means the best singer or speaker or piano player or anything else that is of any use to Him. Sometimes I feel like my feeble attempts at doing good in this world are vastly overcome by my failures. Sometimes I feel like just calling it quits and walking away….this Christian life is just too hard. Yesterday as I graced the doorways of my church, that was honestly and truly what was running through my mind. “Why am I here today?” “What good am I going to do?” “I’m not prepared.” “I would be better off at home.” But I left with a revitalized spirit and a reminder that because I am so inadequate, He is able to move. Because I don’t have it all together, He is able to work in me and through me. So last night as I stared at myself in the mirror and told God all the reasons why I wasn’t of any use to Him, He reminded me of all the reasons why I was exactly what He wanted.
And so even though I’m surrounded by stacks of paper on my desk and I have a sticky note next to my computer that says I have a jillion things to work on today, my heart is still set on yesterday. Yesterday was good. His presence in our service was exactly what I needed…..and I could tell it was exactly what the rest of the church needed as well.
So if any of you are like me, and I’m sure you are whether you will admit it or not, it’s okay to not have it all together. It’s okay to fall apart sometimes….to feel unsure about yourself and wonder how in the world God could use somebody like you. But just know in your heart that He can use you. He desires to use you. And as long as we are giving Him our best and are willing to let Him work and move, well just hold onto your horses because He’s going to use us to do a whole lot more than we ever thought possible. Hang in there, my sweet brothers and sisters, because He is totally worth it.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30