I’ve learned a part of maturing is doing the things you don’t wan’t to do but know you need to do. At least, that’s what I told myself one Sunday as I got ready for church.
My body was charged with anxiety, my mind weighed down from the difficult week. I was getting emotional thinking about things that had happened days ago. It was a morning where I just wanted to curl up in bed and go right back to sleep.
As I ate breakfast, I contemplated just skipping church. I had been invited to a brunch or could also, like I wanted to, just lie around and let myself sink deeper.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come to brunch?” My friend asked.
“No,” I said, now sure of myself. “I need to go to church.”
This is not a ‘you must go to church every week’ lecture. I’m not here to tell you what to do or how to spend your Sunday mornings. But on this Sunday morning I desperately needed worship. I needed to be immersed in Jesus, to be surrounded by His people, to sing to Him, and have Him speak directly to my heart.
My church meets in an old school gym with the lights turned down low. The worship team stands on a stage in the front of the room. Rows of folded chairs line most of the space and bleachers are pulled out from the back wall–that’s where I sit.
I stood at the back of the gym, hands open as the worship band performed a deeply emotional set. I don’t like to cry in public. I don’t like other people to really see me cry at all. Yet that morning I allowed the floodgates to open. That was definitely dramatic. It was really only a few tears, but it was a huge release. I could feel the weight lift off of me.
One of the songs repeated the lyrics “I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open.” It sounds counter-intuitive–anyone would tell you that you definitely need your hands when you’re climbing a steep mountain. If your hands are open, that means you are relying on something else to help you climb–and not your feet.
All those things you’re clutching in your hand you can turn over to the Father. You can release them and He will take them from you. You still have a mountain to climb, emotions and situations to wade through, but you will receive a peace in the midst of it all.