We were standing in church recently, chatting it up before the service started, when a dear friend excused herself from the conversation to go grab a seat.
“I’m going to go grab a seat before worship begins, y’all. The worship is where I meet with Jesus.”
I always kind of kick myself when someone else can find the words to say exactly the same things I feel. I love listening to men and women of God speak about his word, explaining and clarifying and working through it all in front of us. But no matter what, for me, my time with Jesus is always going to be centered around and built upon music that is praising his name. My sweet friend said it ever so simply and ever so beautifully though – its where I meet him.
Do you ever wonder what God is like? Or what heaven will be like? When I was in college, right after Nate and I started dating, I worked at the arena on campus for a Chris Tomlin concert. The way I saw it I got a free concert and got paid to be there, when in reality all I did was stand around. Kind of a college kids’ dream job, you know?
So there I am, at a concert, listening to all of the songs we sang in church being played in an arena. Kind of cool, but my feet were hurting. My back was tired. Turns out standing around is a lot harder work than it seems.
Suddenly the band stopped singing and it was just the crowd. The lights turned away from the stage and illuminated the thousands of worshippers below me. And in that moment I saw exactly what heaven would be like. It will be filled with praise for The Lord, always and forever, amen.
The more I think about that one true version of heaven – the one that’s praising God for eternity – it can seem kind of lame at times. I know, I know, but hear me out. Heather, earthly sinful Heather, wants all of her favorite things to be in heaven. She wants pizza and Mac and cheese and ice cream for all the days, and obviously none of the calories that go with it. She wants long walks on the beach, a picture perfect house, a hammock and sunshine. It’s a pretty nice little version of heaven, and yet where is God in that picture?
But when I look at psalm 37:4 I see, once again, that when I delight in Hod he will give me the desires of my heart. Not “God will give you all this cool stuff and then you’ll like him.” When he is first then my hearts desires will line up with exactly his will and I will have those desires fulfilled.
Now back to square one. Worship. It’s where I meet Jesus, where we hang and it feels that truly I was always made to be. As the song says, it overwhelms and satisfies my soul. I can literally feel the things of this world melt off and feel the peace of God to the point that I feel like I’ll burst. And in that overwhelmingly emotional experience I feel incredibly satisfied. I feel what it will be like, pure joy, to worship God forever.
Have you ever had an experience where the raw reality of forever hits you? I’d love to hear about it!