I didn't want to go to church this morning
I know it is on these days when I don't want to go that I need to go most. As I got up, got dressed and glanced over my notes for leading Sunday School one more time, I was inwardly grumbling. Last night I'd gone to bed after a great day only to be attacked by fear and shame and the idea of not being good enough. I woke up this morning feeling sick. I complained and said a few bad words and stomped around.
The funny thing is I don't think God is put off by my not being delighted to go to church. Of course He wants me to be excited to go, but I don't think that just because I'm grumpy He decides I need a time out and He's not going to speak to me for a while.
I think it's quite the opposite. At least for this morning it was when I was grumpy and my head was filled with worries and doubts and confusion that He reached out and touched me.
In Sunday School I was greeted with bright eyes and smiling faces and little arms reaching out for me. As the kids said their verses, I was struck by how happy and proud they were.
The singing part of church is most often my favorite. One way I experience love is through music. I love the way that music makes me feel connected, feel heard and seen, like I'm witnessing something beautiful.
This morning I just listened to the words, to the piano chords and the strumming of the guitar. And I listened to the people around me sing. And I had this mental picture of crowd surfing. Not like at a rock concert where everything is loud and chaotic, but the peaceful image of being held up by hundreds of hands.
I felt like I was being held.
I felt like God was whispering to me, "Right here. I want you to look right here."
I felt like Peter, stumbling around on the waves. Life is real and the confusion I feel right now is real and the doubts are real and all of this is real. But it's when I focus on the reality of my fears instead of focusing on the reality of my God that I begin to sink.
I don't know a lot right now, and that's scary, but I was reminded this morning that I wasn't given a spirit of fear. And when my eyes are locked on the one who walks on water, I am secure.
It's easy to say but not as easy to believe. It's not easy to believe when these very real questions are staring me in the face or when it's Tuesday and I'm caught up in the middle of this hectic life.
Right now it feels like things are hanging in the balance, and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to go wrong. And it's like God is saying, "Trust me."
The other shoe might drop. Things might not go like I planned. The storm may rage. But that doesn't change the call: to trust Him, to look into His eyes and step out of the boat.
“Grace isn’t about having a second chance; grace is having so many chances that you could use them through all eternity and never come up empty. It’s when you finally realize that the other shoe isn’t going to drop, ever.”