It happened just yesterday.
I was taking down our Christmas decorations. It wasn’t that I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I purposely left our decorations up for most of January. I’m never in any hurry to bid Christmas goodbye.
Thankfully You, Lord, and everything this holiday means stays in my heart all year round.
I hadn’t planned it… the fact that my taking ornaments off the tree would turn into a worship service. It just… happened. Isn’t that always the case, Lord, when we set our hearts on You?
I had decided to play worship music as I worked. You and I had experienced such a sweet time of communion earlier in the morning that I didn’t want that camaraderie to end.
As I took each ornament off, You reminded me of another reason to thank You, Lord. So I did. Then I would hear lyrics that only served to multiply my gratitude. Before long, I was speaking and singing my thanks and praises to You.
I hadn’t picked the order of the songs. I guess my playlist was set to “random.” But nothing is ever random… is it, Lord? You knew just how to move my heart ever-deeper and ever-closer to Yours.
Suddenly, unexpectedly… I began to weep. I had been thanking You for Your Steadfast Love. Your Amazing Grace. Your Unfailing Kindness. Your Incomparable Mercy. Not in a general sense; rather, in a very tangible, personal sense. Until a particular song came on… and the lyrics brought me to my knees.
“You Thought of Us”… sung by a wonderful group of women called By Design.
It was the night You were arrested. The betrayal of Judas. The friends who fled in fear. The sound of Peter’s tears. The terrible cheers – “Crucify!” A nightmare coming true before Your eyes.
Then, the mocking and beating You suffered. The physical blows tearing at Your skin… even as the hatred tore at Your heart. The nails. The draining of Your blood as Your anguished cry met silence in the sky… asking Your Father, “Why?”
I couldn’t help but see myself… my own betrayals and denials… the times I, too, have run from You… my own sins that helped put You on that cross…
What was going through Your mind, Lord, when all of this was taking place? The song’s answer pierced my heart: “You thought of us. Every one of us. And all Your love for us caused You to stay. You could have spared Your life and still had Paradise. But even when the pain we put You through became too much… You thought of us.”
How could I not weep?
Tears of profound regret that You suffered so much. Tears of profound wonder and gratitude that You did what had to be done. What only You could do. For me… and anyone else who would receive Your priceless Gift.
Yesterday’s God-encounter. When, for me, Christmas morphed into Easter.
A magnificent meltdown, indeed.