Day 40 – Worship & Celebration

Forty days later … and I’m sitting here ruminating on the past month and a few days of whirlwind school, theater, and CYT activities. Thinking back to that time in April when God whispered to me that I needed to focus on prayer for the next wilderness of 40 days. And wilderness it was – hardly a mountain-top experience of exhilarated communion with God. It was a day-to-day scraping by of broken prayers and exhausted morning devotions and times when I thought I would lose my mind. Days when I skipped blogging and felt guilty but hadn’t another single moment to squeeze it in … days where I felt like the least likely person to be touting spiritualities in my writing because heaven knows I needed prayer more than anyone.

But wasn’t that the point? God Himself said that people who are well don’t need a doctor. He came to save those who were sick – in need of a Savior. I fool myself into thinking God only wants me to come to Him when all my ducks are in a row. But just like my sweet Nessa-girl said in our last HYPE meeting, that’s not what God expects of us at all. He want us to come to Him with our dead ducks … with our messiness and brokenness so that He can repair and restore. This is learning grace on a whole new level.

Even more of a reminder was what Bobby said last night – that every great person used of God was a broken one. That for every great thought they had, they had two or three things that were wrong about them, too. That’s who God uses – us, the broken ones. Specifically so that we will have nothing to boast about … because our power certainly didn’t come from us!

So today, my worship and celebration comes from such a deeper level than it ever has before. It’s not the superficial, happy-go-lucky Christian-eze that says, “Praise God, everything is fine!” It’s the slow, steady smile across my lips that comes from a heart that has begun to learn her Father’s heart better than she ever has before. It’s the relief of knowing that Christ Jesus is my strength, and I no longer have to fight on my own. It’s knowing that He’s heard every prayer I’ve prayed over the past 40 days, and He has wrapped His arms around me and given me strength to go on.

These verses from Ezekiel that I read this morning were exactly what I needed to hear:

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

GOD is the One who brings the change – GOD is the One who deserves all of our praise. And for this, my heart can sing.

Heavenly Father, thank You for being near to my heart all this quarter. Thank You for these past 40 days of brokenness, joys, triumphs, and failures. Thank You that in all things, You do work together for my good. Thank You that I can worship today in freedom, knowing that that is what I have been set free for. I love You, my Abba. Every good thing comes from You. In Your name, I pray, Amen.

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