“A few years ago, the world watched as three gray whales, icebound off Point Barrow, Alaska, floated battered and bloody, gasping for breath at a hole in the ice. Their only hope: somehow to be transported five miles past the ice pack to open sea. Rescuers began cutting a string of breathing holes about twenty yards apart in the six-inch-thick ice. For eight days they coaxed the whales from one hole to the next, mile after mile. Along the way, one vanished and was presumed dead. But finally, with the help of Russian icebreakers, the whales Putu and Siku swam to freedom. In a way, worship is a string of breathing holes the Lord provides His people. Battered and bruised in a world frozen with greed, selfishness, and hatred, we rise for air in worship, a place to breath again, to be loved and encouraged, until that day when the Lord forever shatters the ice cap” (Craig Brian Larson, Leadership, Vol. 11, No. 2).
Do you struggle with picturing worship as a setting where “...we rise for air...a place to breathe again, to be loved and encouraged…?” It’s a beautiful description but perhaps it hasn’t be your experience often enough. One possible reason for that has to do with what motivates us to worship God in the first place. Perhaps you were raised in an environment (like I was) that taught us to worship God primarily because He commanded us to worship Him. And while that motivation is better than none at all, I would submit that it falls short in leading us to experience the blessings that times of worship can become when they provide for us what we can get nowhere else
Perhaps this is another one of those times when our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ in the past as well as in the present have an advantage over us. Worship becomes more precious to those whose faith has caused them to be persecuted by enemies and rejected by family and friends. For them, it becomes life-giving rather than just another option among many others.
God loves you!