The spiced cider candle is flickering. Toasty pumpkin muffins are cooling on the counter. Baby is sleeping, the dishwasher is humming, and I'm curled up in my favorite bedraggled sweater listening to soothing African-style easy listening nothingness.
Today is a day of rest.
The beginning of a fresh week of battles.
But today is not about those battles. Today is about praise. Worship. Rest. Reveling in God's glory.
And today I got to do that...
The past five months, as I've struggled to remain upright, to focus, and to get through each day, Sunday was not a day of rest. Sunday was a day of more work: get up, try to look decent, clean up baby, get out the door, smile, nod, try to worship, smile, nod, remember people's names...
Worship was hard. Worship was work. Worship was draining. Exhausting. Drying. Saturation in the grace of God didn't feel real. I went through the motions.
I wasn't mad. Or depressed. Or bitter.
I was just exhausted. Drained. And barely able to focus on the words I was singing and the truth I was hearing.
One Sunday morning, as I (tiredly) wrapped Velcro rollers around another strand of impossibly frizzy hair, I began to hum... "We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of The Lord..." And then it hit me:
My worship is to be a sacrifice.
Think about that phrase. Just think.
Worship. A sacrifice.
A brutal, blood-spilling, emotion-draining, laying down on the alter. My worship. Slitting the throat. Burning the carcass. My worship. Gory. Bloody. Painful.
Not an emotional high. Not a feel-good fest. (Not that it isn't wonderful when God gives those moments...) But my worship should be an act of obedience. Whole-hearted willingness to shout my God's glory and revel in His Word.
Regardless of my fatigue.
Regardless of my pain.
Regardless of fears, broken relationships, betrayal, apathy, anger, or boredom.
Set aside thoughts of you.
Focus on your Savior.
And pour out the blood of sacrificial worship.
Such abandonment for the glory of God does not return to you empty. And today God allowed peace and happiness as I sang each line and listened to each word... Focusing on the sacrifice resulted in wonderful joy.
"... let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God." (Hebrews 13:15b-16)