In the months following my divorce, I struggled to move forward. Angry and hurt, feeling betrayed and rejected, I stumbled through life, blinded by the internal tears streaming down my cold, closed heart. It was during that time that I was driven to do something that had no memories attached to it. A new thing that would be all mine. I started horseback riding lessons and eventually bought a horse.
So began my journey back to the Father.
For the next ten years, as I wrestled through life, the one constant was my horse, Rory. He was tall and skinny, a throw-away racehorse. Sensitive and quick and completely devoted to me. An unlikely minister. And yet...
Worship happened on the back of my horse, our bodies moving in a tandem rhythm that left my mind free to contemplate questions I was afraid to ask, thoughts that seemed too sinful to express (how could I be angry at God?), and emotions that threatened to overwhelm me at any other time. As I rode and recognized the wonder, the splendor of creation around me, my heart softened and blossomed. I began to hear a gentle wooing deep within me, encouraging thoughts and words of love echoing past the coldness.
Worship, I learned during those years, is simply focusing on the Father. Worship happens when we are rejoicing and grateful, angry and hurt, sad and bereft. The Father takes whatever we can give and turns our offering into something beautiful: "...golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people..." (Rev 5: 8b) Our worship is our prayers, our acknowledgement of the Divine One, our exhausted, outstretched arms holding out hands crying - "Take it Jesus, I can't go on!" He does. And, I can testify - He makes it beautiful.
In my effort to run from pain, I ran straight into the arms of Jesus. Sobbing in His lap, my wordless, begging tears soaking us both, He baptized me anew - just as He longs to baptize all of us - in mercy, grace, and understanding.
As our hearts thaw in the warmth of His love, we rise again - and our worship joins the golden bowl at the throne.
Want more? Read along with the study I'm following at She Reads Truth - Worship