Do You Worship?
Grayson came to live with us
in October of 2001. She was exactly 2-1/2 years old. Though
she was already speaking Romanian quite well, she couldn't
speak our language at all of course; we were strange to
her. Many times she stared at us without smiling, trying
to grasp where she was and why.
As the Christmas season approached
and we began to get out the tree and the decorations, Grayson
was fascinated with the lights and the shiny things. She
received the honor of putting the star on the tree and she
smiled with delight. Her favorite toy that season was the
tiny nativity set that my mom gave us. Each little figure
was there -- Mary, Joseph, the little baby Jesus in a manger,
the wise men, a donkey and some shepherds...
Grayson carried them with her
and would set them up in random places around the house.
She especially loved the Mary figure -- a little piece of
kneeling plastic with hands clasped together as if in prayer
-- and Grayson would often play with Mary and the little
baby Jesus separately. She would place the kneeling Mary
in front of the swaddled baby. She would finger them and
smile at them.
"What's she thinking about?"
I wanted to communicate the
Gospel to her in words -- to tell her what was so special
about that nativity set -- to explain our feeling of joy
and peace when we spoke of that little Baby in the hay!
I told her the story of Jesus in English, but I knew she
didn't really understand me.
That year Christmas day was on a Sunday, just like it is
this year. Just as our time of worship was ending at church
that morning, the nursery worker motioned for me to come
back to Grayson's classroom. As we walked there, she explained.
"I haven't been able to
get Grayson to move from this one position! It's the strangest
thing -- we wanted you to see her. Maybe you will understand
what she's doing…"
As I peeked into the room,
I saw Grayson over in the corner with a baby doll lying
in a blanket in front of her: a little Romanian girl, kneeling,
with hands clasped together as if in prayer.
I did understand.
She was pretending to be Mary,
even down to the smile on her face. She was praising God
and kneeling to the baby Jesus. Even though she hadn't heard
the Gospel spoken in her language -- and certainly our words
were foreign to her -- she still understood! Joy and peace
shone through her eyes as she worshipped Him.
I tried to explain. Tears began
to flow as I told them about our nativity set at home and
what Grayson was doing. The ladies in the nursery that day
smiled politely, but they really didn't seem to understand.
Where do you worship? Do you
ever just take the time to kneel before the Savior and honor
Him, no matter what others think of you? Do you really understand
what He has done for you? Over this past year, God has given
me many unlikely places to worship Him…hospital rooms, doctors'
offices, an empty house, a bathroom, our van…
We had a hard time finding
a new house to move into this past summer. We knew that
by the end of August we would have to be out of the house
we were temporarily living in. We were already packing boxes
and disassembling bedroom furniture. I will admit it was
a little unnerving.
Where are we going, Father?
I prayed often. I felt like we were on an Abraham journey
-- told to move with no home in sight.
Will we be living in a tent
in the wilderness? With 8 kids?!
As our "moving date"
kept approaching with no house for us to move into, Ken
and I grew more and more concerned. We tried not to show
it. But I could tell by the children's questions that they,
too, were thinking about it.
"Mom, our rooms are almost
packed up now…where are we going? If we don't find a house
to move into, will we be living in the van?
This question came up one day
while we were riding in the van -- I was driving and seven
of our children were with me.
When Elijah asked that question,
everyone grew silent, waiting for my answer.
I stopped the van and we sat
in silence for a moment.
"I truly believe, with
all of my heart, that God has a place for us. We must trust
Him. But even if His place for us is here in this van, then
we will be grateful! We will thank Him and we will worship
Him. Let's think of all the things He has already done for
The silence was broken as we
began naming, one by one, all the many things God had already
done for us and given to us. Worship came freely in the
van that afternoon.
When God finally did provide
a house, I was feeling terrible! I was having gall bladder
problems. On moving day, I was on pain medication and strictly
told not to "overdo it" or to move anything. It
was hot outside and I was miserable!
But while I watched my family
and our friends moving in box after box and chairs and tables
and bed frames into a house that was finally ours, I sat
in silence and worshipped. Truly He is the Great Provider.
Some time ago, a sweet friend
learned that her son had a deadly cancer. Oh, how we prayed
and fasted for that little boy! Literally we begged God
to spare this child's life…and He did! God healed this boy
completely! We had prayed for so long that when God finally
did heal Him, it was overwhelming -- no sign of cancer was
found anywhere! I was so overcome by gratitude and emotion
that I had to close myself up in our bathroom to kneel and
to cry and to thank Him and marvel at His goodness!
So where do you worship?
Do you ever "speak a word"
for the Heavenly Father? Do you worship Him -- in times
of healing AND in times of sickness? As you know, we've
been in quite a few doctors' offices and hospitals this
year. We've asked the Father for complete healing…that the
diseases our children are facing would just disappear. God
has not brought them physical healing, at least not yet.
Our children continue to struggle. But God has given us
many opportunities to speak of Him and to speak to Him.
There are always opportunities to worship.
With each diagnosis and prognosis
the doctors have given us -- whether good news or bad --
I've tried to speak a word of worship out loud. Most of
the doctors have smiled politely when I have spoken of the
goodness of God, but it is obvious that many do not understand.
They think us strange. Like Grayson so long ago, they treat
us as if we are speaking a foreign language. They don't
understand our words of wholehearted devotion.
But maybe somehow, in some
way, they will get it, like Grayson. God will help a dark
world to understand. Maybe in some way our worship will
cause a light to dawn in their hearts…
…and then they will know the
true meaning of Christmas. Then they will know Jesus.
Where do you worship?
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights