That I May
“Why do you worship?”
The question just hung in the air, lingering longer than my skin preferred. I felt my soul lean in close so as not to miss the answer.
But there in the moments that stretched uncomfortable, I couldn’t avoid the itch to dig deeper than my rehearsed response. She looked me straight in the eye. She really wants to know. And that’s a good thing.
I have been asked the “how” to worship question a lot, but I confess the “why” hasn’t come around as often. That afternoon, the “how” just didn’t seem to matter if the “why” wasn’t sufficient. I smile when I think about it…such a good question. Such a necessary question, really. And it is a question that has opened such a sweet space in my life. I am just a girl who is grateful. Truly.
You see, I have discovered two astoundingly simple facts about the “why” I worship God.
He is God.
He is good.
Yes, He has done a work in my life, and in yours, I suspect. But the simple fact that I even have the option truly astounds me. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all He has done to cleanse me, to forgive me, to free me, but that’s just a sliver of the “why” that draws me to raise my open hands to Him.
I am astounded (and grateful) that I may.
One of my favorite stories in scripture is about the woman who pours her tears and expensive perfume upon Jesus’s feet, and then wipes His feet with her hair (Luke 7:36-50). It is such a tender image of gratitude, of grace, of mercy, of forgiveness, and of a joy that overflows.
Her response to all of Jesus was to pour out all of herself.
She knew the cost. She felt the shame melt away and she responded with the sweetest form of worship. And though I may be taking too much liberty in understanding this woman’s motivation and heart, I would venture to say that she was filled with awe and wonder that she even had the choice. Can you relate to that wonder? I know I can.
That the God of the universe, the Creator of all that is good, all that is magnificent, all that is holy gives us permission to come close should take our breath away. The fact that He chose to reveal Himself, humble Himself, sacrifice Himself so that we may worship Him brings me to my knees.
The wonder of it never gets old, never wears me out, never stops inspiring me. How can it? It no longer matters what He has done for us (though that will always be important for me to remember) but that we may live in celebration that He is doing it still…removing the veil of sin from our eyes and beckoning us closer still. Just let yourself think about that for a bit.
The work on the cross was complete. He finished it. And now what remains is the wonder of freedom and His unfathomable love.
Tim Timmons is one of my favorite worship leaders – mostly because he has chosen to live his life grateful and out loud. I love that. It inspires me to dig deeper and lean in closer, too. Tim beautifully captured these ponderings in his new song entitled, “You Are Good (That I May).” This song is ministering to my heart these days…and it is so good. Also included below is the story behind the song. It’s worth the listen. Check out the bridge:
I’ll praise You,
Not that I have to,
Not that I ought to,
But that I may
(Tim Timmons and Jason Ingram, “You Are Good (That I May)” bridge lyrics)
Yes..again and again, Lord, we say “Yes!” We thank you, Jesus, that you not only took our sins away, bearing our sin and shame, but that You call us close to your heart and invite us to commune with You. We praise You because You are God and You are always good. We praise you not because we have to or ought to, Lord…but that we may. Oh, joy of my heart…that we may!
With joy for the journey,