Making Joyful Noises

Sacrificuim Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum et humiliatum Deus, no despicies // The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise.

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That Goodness, infinite and ineffable,

Which is above, runs toward love,

As light comes to polished bodies.

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Shosholoza

You are moving fast on these mountains

The train is coming out of South AfricaIMG_2321-edit

Rise up, follow me,

Come away, is the call,

With the love in your heart

As the only song

There is no such beauty

As where you belong

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Alzándosé colorada con la luz del nueva día, Para estar en tu poder, mi amor // Arising, red, with the light of the new day, To be in your possession, my love.

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Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel? Then why not every man?

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Just give me Jesus.

The Wheaton Women’s Chorale, Men’s Glee Club, and Concert Choir all preformed last night in an opening showcase. Besides the fact that I was in awe of the talent of my classmates and friends, the songs reminded me of what it means to truly worship the Lord with beauty. I had forgotten the lesson the Lord taught me awhile back about worshipping Him and Spirit and Truth. And, in His beautiful way, He called my wandering heart back to it.

I love worshipping the Lord in Spirit. I know what the presence of the Lord feels like and I could stay there forever. There is nothing that compares to a time of corporate or quiet prayer when you know you are before the Throne of Grace and the Great High Priest is speaking words of love over you. I get excited to hear His voice, to me or on behalf of others. Discerning the movement of the Spirit in people or places is an incredible gift, but it also can lead to discouragement if you (read: I) am not careful.

Because when I go into the prayer chapel at night and don’t “feel” it, it is easy to become frustrated. Sometimes I blame myself. Sometimes I blame God. Often, I just give up and count that time as for naught. I have to remind myself, or rather, the Lord keeps reminding me, that He is not dictated or contingent upon my crazy, new college student emotions. The joy I felt after what my mom calls a “divine encounter” is not lost when my selfish heart settles upon feelings of insecurity and loneliness after watching others. The blessing and the struggle do not cancel each other out – they are both gifts from the Lord. They both lead me to worshipping Him in truth, despite the range of my human emotions.

Wheaton is a hard place. Don’t misread that – it is a good place, the place I know the Lord has called me, a place with incredible professors and nice people. But it is hard. . .parts of it are hard spiritually, like the lack of transparency, brokenness, and presence of the Holy Spirit. Parts of it are hard emotionally, like feeling unknown in an unfamiliar place that cultivates, at least initially, more one-time encounters than life-long friendships. Parts of it are hard physically, like being surrounded by athletes and people who are obsessed with working out, as well as having to choose for myself when and what I am going to eat. Parts of it are hard mentally, like staying out of my head and my overly-analytical, futuristic thoughts.

But I’ve realized my dependance on the Lord is ways I never have before. I am more humbled and in love with Jesus than I ever have been. I’m more aware of the Spirit – and also more aware of my need to worship in truth, when I don’t always “feel” it. Things are crazy, fun, exciting, boring, overwhelming, beautiful, blessed, encouraging, frustrating. . .but they are all good, because He is all good.

I have so much more I could say, but it’s dinner time and the Lord still has things to surprise me with today (remind me to post about the beauty of taking a Sabbath – and taking one that is focused on the Lord). I will leave you with this verse that the Lord brought to my attention during our quiet time earlier this week:

“You are my servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday – enjoy the sunshine for me, since it’s a cloudy day here in Wheaton! Soli Deo Gloria.

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