|Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on April 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM|
Worship. What does worship mean to me? Recently when I was asked to share my thoughts on that, I wondered, How can I do that in a few moments? Probably the simplest answer would be “Everything, it means everything to me, because it’s what I do when I walk close to God.”
Worship happens when we catch a glimpse of God and in response our heart bows in love and adoration—and we want to align ourselves with God’s purpose and plan.
Walking and talking with God, stopping to give thanks and allowing my heart to fill with praise and thanksgiving, to me is heart-felt worship. Pausing in the middle of difficult trials and tribulations, to acknowledge God’s love for me, to recognize that he knows the reason and what it can teach me, is worship. Letting go of my need to control and just yielding to him with thanksgiving is worship.
As a very small baby, still in the crib, I felt love and gratitude swelling in my little heart when I saw the cloud of pink and white apple blossoms in the orchard across the lane blooming above a sea of golden dandelions and accepted them as a God-sent welcome to this world. I think that was my first memory of worship although I couldn't have named it as such at the time.
When I was a little older my family gathered to sing on Sunday evenings. When they sang “My Jesus I love thee, I know thou are mine,” or “Saviour , like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tend’rest care,” my heart was so full of love and worship the tears would flow. I wasn’t able to express it then, but I know now that it was intense love of my Savior, my Jesus and subsequent worship that filled my emotions to over-flowing. I still get that feeling sometimes in choir or as we sing together in church—and that is worship.
Later on, I marveled at God’s greatness and his goodness as I looked into my own babies’ faces and I worshiped as I felt the magnitude of His plan. I worship often when I see God in a good friend.
I am often overwhelmed with the greatness and artistry of God when I observe a sunset, or the grandeur of a mountain peak or the intricate web of a spider, or the soft, velvety petals of a rose or wild violet and I worship my Creator.
I worshipped as I sang to my husband on his death bed and accompanied him to the gates of heaven—then again as I sang to my dear mother-in-law while she lay dying, her hand in mine.
I walked through grief and loss when Norman died, and leaned on Jesus’ breast when I felt bereft. He held me close and I worshipped him. I gave thanks how he worked through my family, my in-laws and my friends as they walked with me through those months and years of grief, and I worshiped God. I walked with hesitant, cautious steps through a new life of singleness and I held his hand and worshipped him. When Paul came into my life and set my life aglow again, I looked up to the God that nudged us together, my heart filled with awe and amazement at his goodness and I worshipped him.
Much as worship is a part of my every-day, personal life, worshipping with others brings a larger panorama to worship. I remember at Mennonite World Conference, when we as a congregation of thousands sang hymns simultaneously in many languages--led by a deaf choir, it felt like a foretaste of heaven.
Perhaps the place I worship to the fullest is when I am surrounded by others who also love him, feel his presence and we worship together. That is when I feel closest to the anticipated gathering around God’s throne with his people from all the ages. There we will have all eternity to worship and praise him unfettered by our earthly limitations.
But I’m glad that I experience such a great measure of joy as I worship my God in the here and now.