The music fell around me. I knew the words. I knew I was singing along.
But I didn’t hear any of it.
It was the first night of our Young Adult Retreat. Cameron, Trevor, Tyler, & Tasha are up leading worship, but I couldn’t get into it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the music or whatever, they were great songs, and those guys (and girl) are some of my favorite musicians.
It wasn’t that.
It was that my mind couldn’t focus on God. I wanted nothing more than to press into God, to feel His presence. I needed it so bad. I needed to feel His arms around me, pulling me close, reminding me that He loves me…
But I couldn’t.
All I could do is listen to the way it sounded, think to myself about how I was wishing they had microphones so we could turn the instruments, or, for that matter, that we could even plug the instruments in so they could be mixed well. I was thinking about how we should have the lyrics on the screen… But then again, maybe not, I mean, the projector’s not all that great: the colors a bit off, it’s out of focus, it’s got a crazy keystone thing going on, and so it would probably just look stupid.
Here I was trying so hard to feel Him, but I couldn’t. I began to get frustrated. I fought the urge to cry.
But as I sat and prayed, fighting tears, I felt God begin to speak. It wasn’t this loud shouting voice, it was this still, quiet, small voice. It began quieter than a whisper. A quiet thought in the corner of my mind.
Let it go.
Please, let it go.
The voice grew louder. More persistent.
Let. It. Go.
It began to overwhelm my mind, rushing over all the other thoughts like a wave.
LET IT GO!
The voice is shouting in my head.
At that moment, God was trying to get my attention. All He wanted was for me to give up these thoughts of what a great time of worship should include, but remember that worship is about HIM. It’s not about me, it’s not about the music, it’s not about the lyrics of the song…
It’s about God.
Worship is about what we give to God. Worship is about presenting all of ourselves before Him.
As I began to let go of each thing, piece by piece, I began to feel God come to me. I began to come back to Him. His arms began to wrap around me, holding me close like a 4-year-old hugs its favorite teddy bear.
It was then I heard the song that they were singing:
I’ve finally found where I belong, I’ve finally found where I belong, In Your presence
I’ve finally found where I belong, to be with You, to be with You
This is where I belonged, in HIS presence. Not in my own. My focus on HIM, not on all the things that could be better.
I am my Beloved’s and He is mine, so come into Your garden and take delight in me
I’ve sung these lyrics probably 100 times, singing to God, but tonight, He sang them to me. I am His beloved, and He is mine. HE invited me into His garden (presence) and He was delighting in ME. He was desiring my presence more than anything else. He was fighting through all the other thoughts in my head. He was crying out for me just as much as I was crying out for Him. I fought and fought and fought to get to Him, but I couldn’t do it. I was downing in my own thoughts, in the trivial things. But He wasn’t going let me drown. He began to fight for me, to get to me. I was too important to Him for Him to let me stay there. He pushed and pushed and pushed unit He reached ME. And as I fell to the ground in my head, worn out, tired, ready to give up fighting to see Him, He showed up and scooped me into His arms, began to speak to me, reminded me that He loved me and would never let me drown.
He would always be there to catch me.
Oh Lord, speak into the silence
Breathe upon the lifeless
Wake us up from slumber
Oh Lord, move in by Your Spirit
Your life living in us
Take us back to wonder