In our worship and gratitude, we pour out an alabaster jar of perfume over Jesus, and we see his kingdom reviving as we do so. It is our duty and privilege to worship.
“Rejoice always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances, for this is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians. 5:16-18
What happens when the world is crashing down, or life is fragile? What happens when we are just waiting and waiting for answers? When worship is hard, how do we respond?
Just over a month ago, the beautiful Hannah, suffered a bleed on the brain and was given just 2 days to live. Such a crisis is devastating. Within days, Hannah’s story had gone viral and hundreds were joining her family on zoom to both worship and pray.
There is something profound about joining in worship together in crisis. We found God meeting us, granting strength and reviving faith.
Amazingly, Hannah began to breathe. She began to move and respond to stimuli. Despite the doctors doubting any possible recovery, we are still meeting today, witnessing small miracle after small miracle. Hallelujah! We fully believe Hannah will wake up and be completely healed.
Joining this community daily has been an honour. We have learnt what it is to fully entrust all things to Jesus, who has daily provided supernatural miracles. Most profoundly, we have seen the power of worship. As we come and pour out our hearts in praise for who God is (even in the beginning when we couldn’t see it), we are corporately pouring out the alabaster jar of perfume as God’s presence overflows.
As we worship, we also cry out and God hears us. We see God do great things and break chains.
Lately, in my own life, I’ve struggled to worship. We are still in a pandemic and I’d hoped that it would be over by now. However, I find myself in a season of complete waiting, at home, with no plan.
I didn’t quite expect ‘flexibility’ to mean just sitting and waiting.
Don’t get me wrong, this waiting season has been wonderful. I’ve been able to join the Hannah zooms. I’ve found space and time to be creative. I’m developing who I am made to be and rejoicing in that.
I have so much to be thankful for but daily, I wake up feeling hopeless. Yet each morning, as I lay down my agenda, open the bible and start to rejoice in who God says He is, I find the truest hope of all.
We have a perfect God who has freed every broken heart to know love. We have a God who does answer prayer – He has and will do great things.
As the days go by, I find myself surrounded by online communities, unexpected mail from friends, testimonies of miracles, joy and laughter… God is good!
I’m learning that the reality of living in God’s Hesed, is surrendering day by day, to his new mercies.
Resting in God’s Hesed love, means completely entrusting ourselves to him. It also means believing that we lack nothing where we are, and therefore, rejoicing.
It’s important to acknowledge that life is not always easy. It’s ok to feel burdened or down in such a difficult pandemic. Feeling this way is not wrong! Worship is a duty, but it’s not a burden. Rejoicing is a discipline that benefits us.
I have felt ashamed and disappointed in myself for failing to feel joyful. But God simply gives me his love. As I trust who He is, I can sit at his feet. Some days I’m full of praise, and others, I simply just pray a single bible verse over and over. At times I simply just have to remember ‘God is faithful.’
Every time, Jesus welcomes me closely.
In our gratitude and worship we are pouring out an alabaster jar. Whilst worshipping, God gave me this sweet image: as I poured out an alabaster jar of perfume over Jesus in my worship, Jesus simultaneously poured his living water slowly, down over my head, smoothing down my hair. I felt the weight of it slowly pouring, renewing me with love and care.
God is not a passive God who just soaks up our worship from a distance. As we pour out our thanksgiving, Jesus pours out his love, kindness and grace.
My beautiful friend Bekah recently released an EP on Spotify and Apple Music . There’s a lyric in her song, Everlasting, that says:
“Those who are weary, those who are burdened, be still. He’s singing over you… Those who are hurting, come with abandon. Lose the agenda, you are all He needs.” Bekah Sarah
We don’t need to hide away our weariness. Worship is not about staying positive. We offer our whole heart and choose to declare the (sometimes unseen) goodness that the bible tells us is truth. Worship is counting our blessings (practically, through gratitude journals and other disciplines) in all circumstances and seasons. As we erupt in this worship, we encounter Jesus.
Listen to Bekah’s song – I found it beautifully sums up what I’m trying to say.
We are still in a pandemic. We may not understand, but we can still be thankful. The grass probably is much greener on the other side, but don’t discredit the good and faithful God who is at work today! Open your heart to that and let Jesus comfort you in the lows.
Rejoice always – but also, pray at all times. Cry out. Then thank him for all the times he’s answered before.