I have an opportunity to head north a little early and make a pool visit with some of my favorite people and since this has been the summer of overcast days and rain…I am not passing on this opportunity!
This morning I watched the third video session for “No Other Gods” and my mind and heart are so filled.
I felt perhaps she was speaking directly to me, but I know that is how God speaks.
The words would all appear the same if written on paper, but the message is divinely engraved on each unique human heart in a personal way.
He is the ultimate Author.
I will be pondering what was opened up in me throughout the day, but for our time together I want to reflect on a point Kelly made as she reviewed Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
She talked about how Hannah would go up with her husband year after year to the festival in Shiloh.
Childless and taunted by her rival, the other wife Peninnah, she would attend this celebration with roots going back to the book of Deuteronomy.
It was a time of feasting and rejoicing as families gathered together.
I picture the ideal Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.
But Hannah had no children and so at this particular year’s party, she was done.
We know this because her husband asked her why she wasn’t eating, even though he had given her double what he gave his child-bearing wife.
In the teaching, Kelly Minter compared this to times when our hearts are so heavy and we make an appearance in the Lord’s house, but we are no longer participating in the celebration at His table.
I find myself at this moment, just as I did when I heard her say it, feeling the grip of tears and a tight throat that constricts just above a heart that, like the Grinch, knows the confines of a small box with walls constructed of some pain.
Do you remember the old cartoon?
How his heart was just so small…and then when it grew and grew and grew some more and burst through?
That’s how I feel sometimes when God starts softening up and breathing life back into places where my heart has died a little.
It hurts good when our heart grows bigger…but it hurts bad when it is constricted in pain.
And sadly, heart pain can cause us to withdraw from worship.
We can excuse it with a lie that we are just going through too much and we don’t feel happy and joyful so we just can’t bring ourselves to participate in those chipper worship songs.
Let me personalize this.
I can excuse heart withdrawal by showing up at church and standing in the midst of the worshippers…but not worshipping.
I can take the bread and cup as it passes but not really nourish myself in the truth of the joy of His salvation.
I can walk through the lobby and chat a little with some people and not koinonia-fellowship with anyone.
And when I withdraw from the Body because I am hurting deep within…when I push back from the Lord’s table because deep down I feel He has forsaken me….
I for sure am taking the first steps towards fashioning some kind of idol out of some kind of lesser material and I will be worshipping something…even if I said I just didn’t have it in me to worship God that day.
It’s hard truth, people.
We were made to worship and if, in our pain, we don’t fall down before the only One who can understand the depths of it and can heal it…we will fall down before something or someone that will never bring about the restoration and healing we so desperately need.
Much to ponder…much to consider.
Blessings…you are loved dearly <3