Worship in the Winter Moments

The landscape tends to fluctuate, here, in multi-dimensional variations of the same thing, but still different.  Sometimes the change is so minimal, that the effect is unseen. The lens we are peering through seems vacantly the same.  But that isn’t true… and this myopic vision is a bit dangerous. Because when the everything around you that seems the same, is suddenly different, your untrained eyes fail to adjust in time to catch the fleeting moments  where grace spills.

And that makes it hard to look closely to where we are going, to pay attention to the view, and to take it in as a deposit for the journey. I wonder if Isaiah’s prophecy and Matthew’s warning about looking and looking and never seeing has become normal for me.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, the one saying, “In hearing you will hear but never understand, and in seeing you will see, and in no way perceive.” Matthew 13:14

When it feels like the consistency of the day is unchanging,  the reality that the more things change the more they stay the same feels like a glaring sign.   Yet, in Christ we don’t have to live in the pattern of the unchanged. We can break out and become those who see the Holy and hear the song of the seraphim.

And perhaps we need to wear a different kind of glasses to be the set apart who see and see and see some more?

Perhaps we need to adjust the faith lens that is situated over the eye of our heart.  For if we walk by faith, instead of by sight, then we take in the grandeur of heaven into our soul and the whole view is changed drastically.

It is the heart that allows us to see differently, the place where Christ dwells and has made us anew.

Proverbs 4:23 says we are supposed to guard our hearts close, above all else, for it will determine the course of our lives. Guarded hearts are sometimes indifferent, hard to reach, maybe even a bit callous. The walls that we build to protect often do more damage than the risk it takes to invest in something or someone. Risk carries  a variable of unknown that puts us at the discretion of others, it leaves us vulnerable to being hurt.

Yet, with great risk, comes even greater reward.  If we look for it, we will see the glitter that grace leaves for us to follow.

Each season is a lesson in grace for me, nature has a way of speaking directly to the heart.  Ecclesiastes’ wisdom thrums through my thoughts with the proverb of how appropriate the season and the lesson it teaches are to the story of our lives. Winter feels less than glamorous with the cold stark white or dull gray days. But the sunrise is glorious as the  light breaks through and there is a radiance that is unmatched when the frozen winter horizon has been illuminated by the light of the sun.

His light upon the winter of our souls is like that, too; an unmatched brilliance over the dark places that He longs to heal and restore.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the  knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6

The powerful slumber of the winter months as the world still spins but slows to an almost sleep inducing lull, are purposeful. We can easily miss it, though. When our eyes are unaccustomed to notice the slight variance in our surroundings, we slip past the hallelujah moments without hesitation.  But if we pause in the midst of our yielding to the season, we may just be struck with wonder at the show He has provided, and, I am learning,  worship is the key.

When praise fills the expanse of our winter seasons, there is a changing in the landscape of our hearts.

  • I want to see the spectacular, even when the mundane similar awaits my applause.

Because contentment is contingent on the ability to release the unrealistic in order to catch hold of the extraordinary.

It is easy to get bogged down in the disappointments. Failure seems to be a breastplate that we all pick up and hold with eager accommodation.  It almost feels like we program ourselves to look for a crack in the armor, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yet, Jeremiah 29:11 promises a future and a hope that is bound closely to our connection to the Holy.  And if we are walking this faith walk, then we need to be diligent to press on and seek the I. Am. Who. Is. in all our goings, there is evidence in the presence  His covering provides.

  • I want to view the sacred and embrace the possible, even when the facts present a different story.

Because gratefulness pushes out the unbelief that robs us of those mustard seeds of promise  and stirs the soil so that the harvest is indeed plentiful thanks to the winter rest.

We need to recognize the power of hope in the midst of the ordinary, because it is the spark that kindles the flame. The days may tend to blur together,  and we could possibly forget we breathe with holy anticipation; awe and wonder feel non-existent with the daily marching to-and-fro.  There is always room for growth in the life that has been fully lived, friends, because he stretches our expanse like heaven’s horizon to be filled with more of  Him.

  • I want to recognize the pregnant pauses, yield to the cultivation of every possible God-moment.

Because the journey is a counting of miles, steps added together in sum of the moving, that weave the story we call our own and plant pieces of beauty wherever we sow grace.

The seasons teach us to spill worship in wonder as images of hope filter into our everyday moments and we let ourselves find promise in the rest.

Maybe you are here, in that place. Maybe you are waiting and wondering if you need to change direction. Can I encourage you to look for His beauty in the mundane and to learn to search for the remarkable?

let worship spill out

This is a season where the waiting is purposeful. He is doing a new thing, a good thing, in the heart that has taken a chance to choose courage, risk change, and embrace eternal promises.

If we  take the time we will see an exalted king upon a throne  who fills the earth.  If we set aside complacency, we can make room for the Holy. When we rest in the art of praise and worship through the seasons  we can look like Isaiah who saw the Lord on the throne of thrones, exalted and praised by heavenly host, completely undone and ruined for  this world. And we won’t be the ones who ever hearing never hear, and ever seeing never see, but instead we will be like the servant seeking the Savior whose lips were burned with  the substance of heavenly diamonds and willing to be sent to spill out.

In the year that King Uzzia died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts of His train filled the [most holy part of the temple]. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two covered his face, and with two covered his feet,  and with two flew. And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory! And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!  Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having a live coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from off the altar; And with it he touched my mouth and said, Behold, this has touched your lips: your iniquity and guilt are taken away, and your sin is completely atoned for and forgiven.  Also I heard a voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? The said I, Here I am; send me.

Isaiah 6:1-8

When worship spills out, we are ruined for the ordinary. We are changed by His presence in our midst. We can rejoice even in the winter season, when the days are slow and the progress seems non-existent. Filled with hope for the promise of the new life that is being orchestrated below the surface, trusting  every seed planted in the fertile soil is going to become a plant that bears fruit, praise opens the door to new sight.

If we look close, if we really seek Him… He will be found; praise will flow out unbidden in a symphony of worship that exalts the One who fills our soul and restores our purpose in the winter seasons.

Let’s spill the worship that  paints His masterpiece before the world.







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