Monday, November 7, 2011

Supernatural Sucker-Punch!

Had someone punched me in the gut at church today, I would not been as shocked as I was at the scene I witnessed three rows in front of us.

The oldest daughter to a beautiful mother who has been battling for her very life against an aggressive cancer was worshiping God with such joy and enthusiasm that I couldn’t help but stare.  I was moved to tears to watch this young lady lifting her hands and singing with her entire being as the music filled the sanctuary.  The last few years she has watched her mother lose weight, her appetite and her pretty hair but never her steadfast faith in God as she walked through many valleys in the fight for her life.  

If there was one person in that church service on that chilly Sunday morning who had a reason NOT to rejoice, it was this sweet girl.  She had every right to be angry, confused, hurt and discouraged.  No one would have thought twice if she would have collapsed into a chair and cried when the upbeat worship music began.  She has watched the person most dear to her endure more pain and suffering than most of us could begin to imagine.  But she didn’t, she stood.  She swayed.  She raised her hands.  Her face filled with love and adoration for her Savior and she smiled as she sang...yes, SMILED!

This girl was going to praise God not because of something wonderful happening in her life but because of who God is and because He is worthy of our praise! I don’t think I was the only parishioner in that service that was both convicted and inspired by her pure heart.

The scene truly humbled me and I hung my head for a moment in shame.  Do I praise God DESPITE my circumstances, or BECAUSE of my circumstances?  If that were my own dear mom in a fight for her life, would a bleak Sunday morning find me standing in church and praising God with my whole heart...or moping around at home, asking, “Why me?!”

These questions haunt me still.  The simple adoration of a young person took my breath away and convicted my selfish heart.  

I made a choice  right then to join with my sister in the Lord in praising God with great enthusiasm!  The music continued to fill the room and I stood up, smiling through my tears.  That girl three rows up had a secret and I think I know what it is, she was not living in her own strength, but in His. (I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13)

Today I had a supernatural sucker-punch...and I’m VERY thankful I did!

Learning to rejoice and SMILE in the good times...and the CRAZY times too!!


Bryan & Jean said...

Tara, I too have watched in amazement at the depth of true worship coming from one so young. It is so thrilling to be able to SEE the Holy Spirit living through her. Thanks for posting this. I'm glad no one ACTUALLY punched you in the gut....poor baby Cole #5 might not have appreciated that.

Tara Cole said...

You're right--it's awesome to see the Holy Spirit at work, she is a willing heart and that inspires many I think! Yes, lol--got to watch my belly these days with baby on board! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Tara, have you heard of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp? It is a fantastic book about this very thing. I'm sure if you can squeeze in some time to read that you would get a lot out of it. Totally impacted me when I read it last year (read it on the elliptical at the gym...others must have thought I was crazy cause I was laughing and crying the whole time). ~Jessica

Tara Cole said...

Jessica, I haven't heard of it but would like to if you give it rave reviews. I'll look it up on Amazon, will it be there? Thanks!