This is my dog, Eddie. He is a very good boy. I love him so much… I mean, look at that smoochy face! What is not to love about that smoochy little fluffy face!! He has a very special gift as well… He will look right into the very depths of your soul and remind you that you are LOVED to your very core. No matter what… he loves me!! I am so thankful for this beautiful dog. He reminds me a lot of Jesus.
Allow me to flesh that out a little…
I have been spending a bit of time recently thinking about the importance of worship in our lives. What is the role of worship for a person who is seeking to live in the abundance of an authentic, holistic Christian life? It’s a great question, hey!
Personally, I think that worship is foundational to living a holistic life. It is foundational for a number of reasons.
- Worship is part of our created purpose. We were created to be worshippers of God. The very core of our identity is connected to what it is that we worship. And for this reason, when our hearts are drawn to worship God in Spirit and in truth, it strengthens the relational intimacy we have with Him. This intimacy with God is what gives us the blessed assurance of peace. Throughout all of the nuanced complexities of our lives we have peace with God.
- This then means that worship is also one of the most powerful antidotes we have during times of suffering and hardship. This is not to say that we ought to just “fake it till we make it” using worship as a tool for emotional manipulation. But what I mean by this is that worship can open the floodgates of truth in our hearts when we are struggling to stand firm in our own strength. Psalms, Hymns and spiritual songs are powerful conductors of the vibrant theological truths that are like healing balms to the weary and wounded soul. This is why music is such a rich gift.
- Psalm 66: 4 says, “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Worship is so much more than just singing together for 20 minutes on a Sunday, although, there are some solid anecdotal and theological arguments for the importance of corporate Sunday worship. Beyond Sundays tough, worship is about the way we interact with the world around us. Worship is an all of life phenomenon!
It is this third point that makes me so thankful for my Eddie dog! This face is nothing but pure love and delight. When I see the way he looks at me, I am reminded that this is the way my Heavenly Father looks at me. His love for me is relentless. It is steadfast. It is constant. It is unwavering…. No matter how many times I step on his tail in the middle of the night. And I am so thankful.
In the spirit of being authentic, I have had a rough couple of days. I’ve been feeling pretty under the weather with a head cold and I’ve also been feeling pretty overwhelmed with how I am going to keep up with the pace of life over the coming few months. When I’m in this space, I am a person who can easily spiral into places of deep insecurity, feelings of inadequacy and despair. I’m terrified of failing. Sometimes the fear is paralyzing. I share this with you confidently, because I know that I am not unique in this. Truth is, most people struggle with this kind of stuff from time to time. It is a part of being human.
But God is lovely. He still delights in me. He still looks upon me with all the love in the universe and tells me that I’m not alone, even when I do give into my fears momentarily. And one of the key ways He reminds me of this truth and draws my heart back to worshipping Him is through this lovely fluffy, smoochy-faced Eddie dog. It is very difficult to stay in the place of discouragement and despair with this face just pouring grace into my soul, and reminding me that I am loved with the relentless love of our Heavenly Father. And the only appropriate way for my soul to respond is with worship and thanksgiving.
So, make sure you surround yourself with those things that God uses to draw your heart towards Him and leads you to worship Him earnestly. For me, this is animals and nature… also, good coffee, good food and wine… good company, music, literature… a hot bath and a cup of green tea… the list could get quite lengthy.
My point is, look for opportunities to worship God in all of life. Ask to have your eyes opened to see how “All the earth worships Him”. When we allow ourselves to be people whose lives are immersed in worshipping our Heavenly Father I am convinced that the world begins to make a lot more sense and becomes a lot less overwhelming.