This particular post is for those who were in attendance on Sunday November 15th. It was truly an unforgettable time of worship I wish us to remember. So, I decided to write about it. In my study leading up to the worship service I was gripped with the God revealed to us in the book of Job. I was moved to tears several times in my office as I prepared to preach for the 15th. Little did I know just what an impact it would have on me and our church family.
I will let you into my heart and admit that I was concerned for my church family and was asking God to comfort your hearts after a tumultuous season of political tornados and unrest from the virus. I could sense our congregation’s weariness and honestly, I could sense my own. It has been a tough year. Hasn’t it? Personally, my family was also going through a hard time. We just lost my cousin Anthony who left behind his wife and 5 children.
In my experience, the best medicine for a weary soul is to be reminded that we worship an awesome God. Few places in the Bible reveal this awesome God better than the book of Job. In 1961 A.W. Tozer wrote The Knowledge of the Holy and in that book wrote something that has always stuck with me. He writes, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Let me add to Tozer’s quote the words “especially during suffering.” Our church was hurting, weary, and tired. I could sense it. I wanted to give you God. I wanted to show you just how big God is. I prayed God would show up. Well…God showed up!
That afternoon God blew 50 mph gusts throughout the great state of Ohio. It was a storm that caused a wide range of emotion during the service. As I read the words, “And the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind (Job 38:1) the church creaked and cracked with each gust that whistled by. Our enormous sanctuary, suddenly, felt vulnerable. At one-point God opened a small crack in the clouds revealing a sunbeam which shone directly though our beautiful stained glass onto a child’s face. Then darkness again. With every point I made, God seemed to send a bigger whoosh with greater force than the previous one. I could not have planned it better if it had been staged. At one point the power went out. Children cried because they were scared. Adults cried because they were in awe. I kept preaching. I wish the whole church had my point of view. I had the pleasure of seeing all your expressions while I unfolded God’s Word. The song of response was “Holy, Holy, Holy” in acapella because there was no power. It was perfect. It was a worship service I will never forget. It was as if the omnipresent God were reminding our hearts to trust Him all over again. I will never forget it. I know you won’t either.
What is the takeaway? Only you can say. The worshipper must dissect his or her own heart and allow the Almighty to hold you in this storm or silence it by the word of His power. Only the Master of the winds has this authority. We must be reminded that our hearts are not off limits to God. He is sovereign over that too. We were not there when he laid the foundations of the earth (38:4) and so, with Job, lay our hands over our mouths and admit our small account (40:4). May we behold a big God this holiday season and never forget the events of November 15th. I know I won’t.