I had the opportunity to visit a rehabilitation home in Lima for women who have been sexually and physically abused. The stories shared are far too horrible to repeat. Even though each story was unique, a few themes were the same. Each girl was made to feel shame for the things that had happened to her. They had been made to feel like they were worthless, stupid, damaged, useless and unlovable. So when we entered the home, I was not expecting to listen to the most beautiful worship I have ever heard.
In a home with about 35 girls, ages 11-16, each one was completely focused on praising the Lord. Not one girl was distracted. Their arms were raised, their eyes were closed and their faces shone brightly with their love for the Lord. It was a choir of angels; a choir of pure worship and adoration. It was a choir of heavenly voices crying out and thanking the Lord for the hope He had given them. It was overwhelming.
Through the terrible things these girls had been through, they still lifted their voices and raised their arms to their Abba, Father. The Psalms are full of writings of David and others expressing pain, confession, praise, doubts and adoration. In Psalm 29, David talks of the Lord’s incredible power. He uses symbols of nature and strength to show that God remains strong even during the darkest times of life. Like David, these girls understood that there was a God who loved them and wanted to show mercy and grace amidst the valleys and the peaks in life.
I wouldn’t have faulted any of those girls if they had not participated in the time of worship. I would be angry if I were they. However, these girls have been given a peace and a hope from the Lord that transcends understanding. For the only way to praise like that -- with such purity, love and adoration -- is if you truly believe in the message of Jesus Christ. These girls knew they had a Savior: A Savior who died for them, a Savior who loves them, a Savior who knows each tear that has been cried, and a Savior who wants to offer them eternal hope. They understand the heart of worship, and praise the Lord, the Creator of the universe, who gave His one and only son for them, the same God who did the same for you.
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1. What in your life keeps you from truly worshiping the Lord?
2. Why is it sometimes hard to feel like the Lord is with you when bad things happen? How can you know He is there with you each step of the way?
Psalm 29:1-11; Matthew 5:8; Matthew 12:14-21
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