Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 9 Worth it All

The lyrics to one of my all time favorite worship songs go something like this:

When I'm there in Your glorious presence
Every knee is bowed before You
Hear the sound of heaven singing
You are worth it all
All the saints cry Holy Holy
Angels singing worthy worthy
Forever I will shout Your praises
You are worth it all

I let go of all I have
Just to have all of You
And no matter what the cost
I will follow You

Jesus, everything I've lost
I have found in You
When I finally reach the end I'll say

You are worth it all
You are worth it all

We sang this in church today.  I wanted to shout it.  I wanted to kneel down and whisper it because with every fiber of my being I believe it to be true.  It's an easy song to sing when I'm on a mountain top, when life is pretty and the road is easy.  It's not as easy a song to sing when I'm walking through the fire, crossing the river or standing in the valley.  It's harder to sing when my heart hurts but it doesn't make it any less true.

I thought of my friend Kristie who is currently battling cancer.  It's been a long battle.  It's been a tiring battle.  And I thought of her very best friend, Laura, who passed away from cancer one year ago, Saturday, December 22nd.  And I cried and sang and praised God through my tears.  

There are a few thoughts I want to get out and since it's late, and I am tired I am not promising beautiful writing.  But, as always, I promise to be real.  Here goes...

1)  If the saints who have gone before us could tell us just one thing what would they say?  If they had limited time and could only share a brief message what would they choose to communicate?  I think they might tell us to keep going.  No matter what this life takes from you, or how overwhelmed you are with your road, the evil in this world or the length of the battle you are in.  Keep going.  Jesus is worth it, no matter the cost.

2)  An entire church congregation was belting out the lyrics, "You are worth it all," and I couldn't help but think that God sings that over us.  The entire Bible is a testimony of that.  John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."  Jesus left his throne next to the Father.  He came to be born as a human, in a manger, to a virgin and live on this earth.  He was God with skin on.  And then after sacrificing everything to do just that He gave up all he had, his life, to die in our place.  To die the death of a criminal only to be raised again.  And I believe as we sang today He was saying right back, You are worth it all, to us.

3)   I love the verse in the song that says, "Jesus everything I've lost has been found in you."  I love it even though it's hard for me to put into words the extent of just how true that is.  But here is an example.  I grew up without a dad.  There was a dad hole in my heart.  I thought for the longest time that if the right guy loved me then that hole would be filled.  But no guy ever loved me completely.  Then I thought if I had a father figure that the hole would be filled.  But that wasn't true either.  Maybe if I forgave my own father for never wanting anything to do with me, maybe if I show up on his doorstep and forgive him then, then, I will be whole.  

I did that.  I showed up at his doorstep.  He wasn't home.  I did forgive him.  The hole was still there.  Then one day I realized that I had to surrender that empty piece of me.  I had been holding onto it for a long time.  And I clearly could not fill it.  I had to let it go.  Do you know what happened?  My father hole wasn't taken away.  It was filled.  The God of the universe, my Heavenly Father, filled that dad shaped hole.  What I had lost was found in Christ.  

That's what He does.  It is what He longs to do.  We've all experienced loss of some sort.  We have all had to let go of someone or something.  There was a time in my life when I felt like I knew loss better than anything else.  And I want to tell you that there is hope.  There is healing.  There is wholeness again.  But it's not in another earthly person or a thing.  It's in Christ.  And I look back on all of that and I can honestly say, He's worth it all.

Peace to you, sweet ones.  Here's the link to see Benji & Jenna Cowart perform Worth it All.  http://vimeo.com/43551623