Monday, December 03, 2007

Insight in Worship

From time to time, I wonder what Tammy might be doing. This thought was a normal mental exercise anytime we were separated. In the past, I could easily picture her in our house, driving her car, or playing her oboe in the living room. Now, this mental escape seems very strange indeed, because I have no easy reference point to imagine what she could be doing in heaven. The problem is not my lack of imagination, or my failure to believe in heaven. Paul's words in I Corinthians 2:9 explain why I struggle to picture her in heaven. However, as it is written:”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—Heaven is incomprehensible, but thank God not unimaginable. The problem with my imagination is that it is too weak and cannot do heaven justice. Therefore, I choose to think of what she could be doing and not so much what it looks like where she is at this moment.

Heaven is, of first importance, a place to glorify Christ in worship. The worship of heaven must be amazing, unimaginable, and in a sense unspeakable. Since the chief aim of man is to glorify God, heaven is a place where His will is always done and His glory never diminished. The unending worship of heaven is beyond my comprehension; yet, I have seen my bride worship and I can picture what she looks like in worship. Many Sundays, I was touched and received great joy as I stood on the platform in worship and glance at Tammy, in her usual place, her eyes closed and her hands raised, in her gentle way of adoring Jesus. Now I can picture her beautiful face surrounded by His glory streaming from every direction, her eyes open wide, and her hands raised in worship.

Yesterday, I was in worship with God's people at church. As I worshiped and praised the Lord, a thought became instantly clear: I worship like a man looking through a dark glass. I do not see, but I believe. I worship Him who is unseen to me. In heaven, I will behold Him. I worship now with constant distractions, but Tammy worships with single focus. As I think of Tammy beholding Jesus, I am almost overcome with envy of her. Then, like an electric shock, its hits me: she will never again worship out of blindness, with her eyes closed, trusting what she cannot see. She now worships in the fulfillment of the promise; I worship in hope of the promise. She worships in wholeness; I worship in brokenness. She worships complete; I worship undone. Yet, my worship causes the angels to marvel, because it is by faith. In my painful, broken, and pitiable condition, I have one advantage that brings my Lord glory: I worship by faith.

Then another thought greets me, like a warm blanket, and I begin to weep. We who have been separated are united at one place: worship. I am on one side of Jesus; Tammy on the other. I worship like a blind man; she as one who has perfect vision. Yes, I wish I could hold her one more time; but, I can be content to worship with her again and again. Worship has a refreshed meaning in my life today.

Ed Litton


Anonymous said...

As I read your blog this morning before work it gave me some much needed the midst of all else going wrong in the last year I also watched my Granny who I loved dearly take her last breath..I had asked her in her last days if she was afraid of going to Heaven and she said "Oh No" fact she looked at me like I was crazy..she had waited her whole 89 years to see his face..and now I know she is happy and at peace...maybe she is worshiping with Tammy..that would be great my Granny loved music...I know one day we will see what they see..and for that I am truely grateful..Claudia

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you at this Christmas season .... and your children as you decorate a tree or send out Christmas Cards. I know it is difficult; yet, you continue on ... providing great thoughts that God is revealing to you. This "Insight in Worship" was so good. I never considered that we worship "blindly". I look forward to the day I see the face of Jesus so I won't have to imagine anymore. That will be perfect worship! My prayer for you is that you will find a special peace this Christmas Season ... the kind of peace Mary had in knowing that she was chosen to have God's Son. And ... may the memories of past Christmasses bring you comfort.

Teresa Persons said...

God is obviously blessing you with amazing insights through your pain. Insights that are blessing others more than you can possibly know. Having just lost our precious "adopted daughter," Jennifer, I too find myself wondering what she is doing and missing her so much my heart feels as if it will break. Your latest blogs have really given me a clearer picture of "where she is" and joy that she is no longer in pain but now at the feet of Jesus.

We love you,
Teresa Persons

Anonymous said...

Pastor Ed
I really have enjoyed reading your blogs you have a way with words and you have opened up my sense of understanding about worship. I hope that in time you will not be so down and out. Time heals the heart I suppose. I know I have alot to learn but I enjoy your messages every Sunday, and you are the best Pastor anyone could ever ask for, even through these difficult times.You and your family will, definitely be in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I love you my pastor, sheperd and brother in christ.Peggy