Faith · Hope · Love · Uncategorized

A Beautiful Distraction

Ordinarily–I try to sit close to the front to optimize my attention and minimize my distraction. On occasion-due to tardiness, or a full house-I don’t have the benefit of sitting close. This past weekend, as I climbed the steps of the bleachers, I just knew I would miss the message because I’d be “busy” watching pedestrians en route to the bathroom…or crying babies…or hairdos…the possible distractions were endless.  But, what actually happened took my breath away.

As worship began, I zeroed in on a group of ladies I’d seen before. In my normal seat I have only an occassional view of where they sit in the sanctuary. This night though, I was gifted a bird’s-eye view. Immediately, I noticed that they worshipped with abandon. Picture a row of women fully engaged with the moment…standing when others are sitting, or raising expectant hands toward heaven, and passionately believing every word uttered in praise. Their body language spoke-with crescendo-of their belief.

worship

An unexpected stirring in my spirit-a gut faith check of sorts-came over me. My eyes welled up with tears–I was moved by their faith…their worship with abandon. These women have a desperation for Jesus, for His saving and healing grace. They’ve seen hard times and most of them are clinging to the hope of Jesus for rehabilitation. Each one has tried everything to break the addiction-the patterns and habits of their “old” selves. Based strictly on observation, each one has a child-like faith and hope that Jesus can do what they have not been able to do on their own.

So my worship my faith was rattled as I peered into their heartfelt worship. All too often I’m in a thousand places, mentally and emotionally, during worship. But this night…if my attention is what Jesus wanted, He had it!  As sure as I am typing this now, I know the Lord was speaking to my heart. He was asking me if I believed…if my faith was bigger than my fear.  Deep within me, in the quiet secret places, I wrestle with doubt.  What I desire, honestly, is faith with abandon. I want my faith to be as natural and uninhibited as the women He set my gaze upon.

I’m reminded of a story, from the gospel of Mark, where Jesus heals a boy with an evil spirit.It’s not the miracle of healing that gets me in the story. It’s the conversation Jesus has with the boy’s father. In Mark 9:17, the father of the possessed boy tells Jesus that the disciples have not been able to drive out the demon…so Jesus asks the father to bring the boy to him. After seeing the condition of the boy, Jesus asks the father how long the boy had suffered. Listen to the father’s answer:

From childhood, he answered. It has often thrown him into the fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.

If you can? said Jesus. Everything is possible for him who believes.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.

How many times have I approached my faith with the same doubt–“if” you can____________________ {fill in the blank}. If links itself to doubt; unbelief. In the scripture Jesus doesn’t rebuke the father–he responded with compassion. He adjusted the father’s perspective and we know this based on the father’s response, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” Sometimes I just need a perspective adjustment to bolster my faith…to breathe a fresh wind into my spirit…to lead me to confess the unbelief that has hindered my confidence in Jesus.

Looking back now, walking up the steps of the bleachers was just that…a perspective adjustment. From my view, He reminded me of how beautiful belief looks in worship. No matter our stories…no matter our struggles…He’s not looking for perfect, he’s looking for our belief.  And in the confession of our unbelief we encounter the full power of our faith.

That’s what I really want…to surrender my unbelief {day by day} and live with abandon.

 

    {photo credit: http://untci.org/}

9 thoughts on “A Beautiful Distraction

  1. I need to go back to that place of desperation often. I don’t ever want to forget how desperately I need him everyday (although I do), and how his arms are always opened to welcome me back when I falter. Thanks for this reminder. It brought back memories of that scared little girl who walked into CR last year.

    Like

  2. I’m a visual learner – sometimes I have to see others and through them God points the way and says, “More – there’s so much more.” I needed a reminder of the bible story you shared – I am so glad you did. I feel as though I am living that story at times – and I hold on to faith more tightly each day, crying “I believe. Help my unbelief.”
    Stopping by from Lyli’s – it is so nice to meet you

    Like

  3. You are a sweet reminder to me from God, of how He began to change my un-belief to belief, when He placed you in my life! I love you Alyssa and am thankful to be a witness to the way He uses your gifts of discernment and writing, to minister to others! Love, John

    Like

    1. My dear hubs:: what would a blog post be without your eyes first proofing, and your creative title suggestions? This girl doesn’t have to find out–you are all those things, but oh so much more!! Love you and I thank God He saw fit to weave you into my story!! ❤️

      Like

  4. Alyssa, once again, I have been missing our convos! This post was placed just for me to read. I had been to Arkansas with BIL & SIL, and husband. We met up with lots of Uncles, Aunts & Cousins. We went to a small Country CofC, which lead to some deep discussions on raising of hands, etc. I was taken back by the discussion, because nothing was ever mentioned of the heart of the person worshipping, only the distraction. I want to be that person who melts into the worship and sits at His Thorne with no worries of who might be complaining that I am a distraction. I tend to not enter there, because I am afraid that someone would comment that I was just following a trend.

    Like

  5. Oh, how I struggle with that same sense of being easily distracted by crying babies, wiggly toddlers, unexpected sound and movement of any kind. Like you, though, God has graced me with some glimpses of beautiful truth in the midst. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and scripture. Visiting from Lyli’s this evening. Thankful that she shared your space with us this week.

    Like

  6. How many times have I prayed, or really begged, “God help me with my unbelief”. Not sure why I keep God smaller than He is. I too want to throw my life at Him with abandon.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s