We speak of Romans 12 and offering our bodies as living sacrifices. We acknowledge that life is to be our act of worship--that worship should not be shuffled off to one corner of our lives.
But as we go around and share prayer requests, I see that there is deep pain. There are serious concerns here. People are hurting.
The inevitable question is posed: "How can I live a life of worship when I am walking through life in so much pain?"
Does worship equal happiness? Does is always mean the raising of hands and joyous singing and smiles on faces?
I offer up a little something about living with God throughout the dark times and pain--that worship is more than how we conceive it--that maybe it's about walking with God in the every day, acknowledging our pain and grief and knowing that our Father grieves with us.
And then my husband gives better insight: "If Rachel and I didn't go through hard times, how would I ever know that we love each other?"
The light bulb clicks on in my head. The truth of this simple statement echoes into my heart. I know that my disposition tells me to run away from difficult things--to harden my heart or hide or ignore it. I want to run away from difficult conversations with Elliott, but we sit it out. We talk it through. And I always know he loves me, and he always knows I love him.
Isn't it the same with God?
And as we separate our own ideas of worship from the true spiritual act of worship mentioned in Romans 12, I would still encourage us to lift our hands up as a child lifts up her hands to her daddy... as if to say,
"I can't go on any more by myself. Pick me up."