I feel crabby. I am tired of my mom having cancer. Tired of the word cancer. Tired of cancer hijacking the conversation. I’m tired of moving. I’m staring move four, in as many years, right in the face. I mean really, an average of a move a year for the last four years. Over it. I’m tired of relational drama. Wait, what am I talking about? That’s just being born. Welcome to the drama.
It’s been an emotional several weeks (or several years) living with disappointment and joy wrestling for control in my heart. Then in the midst of the emotional God pours these words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
He doesn’t miss a thing in those verses does he? Bring it to me, trust me, thank me, rest in me, be blessed by me. And so I am, I do. I might not remember tomorrow, and I most certainly didn’t yesterday, but I did today. It made all the difference. Today I invited him into the messy. The result? Worship. Every time it’s worship.
I think midnight worship may be dearest to God, because it costs us the most. Worship in the daylight, when blessings abound and life feels golden, is the antidote to pride. But worship in the still, darkness of the heart is the antidote to fear.
I behave like an old-fashioned Israelite with the best of them. Walk out on dry land one moment and wine for water the next. He tells me what he told them – don’t worry, I’m leading you.
God’s awesome light goes before me and I remember that almost two years ago cancer came and tried to redefine our family. It did, but only through God’s attentive hands. The school of cancer has been one of the most powerful ever. Even there “by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving” we request and find peace. Cancer is as worthy an altar as any.
And I’ve been Beck, far from home, wandering towards my home, homesick in the marrow of my being for pretty much, ever. A little over a year ago I wrote this post about finding home. I ask myself, “did I not love enough, pray enough, work enough?” Why am I leaving another home? Why the home that was meant to be different, that was bought at such a cost for such a noble purpose. I will always bear its wound. Every church I leave brands me. I wear them in my heart. I would hardly be human if I didn’t ask the raw, jagged why.
And yet, I stand poised on the edge of what I sense to be a great adventure. I can’t help but be excited. I don’t have the energy or time to wallow in what if. I’m ready to be off and running because a race is yet to be won. Strangely more than any other church we’ve gone to I have a sense of going home. It’s a welcome feeling. I’m ready to love.
That could only be God. Who else answers prayers with cancer and transforms lives with suffering? Who turns a painful loss into a home going? At every turn peace reigns and he guards my heart and mind from lingering in places it shouldn’t.
So the question hangs in the air, what ugly pile of rubble do you need turned into an altar? Petition and praise him, trust and wait, the God of peace will answer you. Worship will pour out of your dusty heart and fill the desert place.
Or you could choose bitterness and be left with a mound of broken things. The choice is always ours.