“God really moved!”
“God did something amazing here!”
“God really showed up!”
It’s that season again.
Picture after picture after picture of people engaged in corporate worship through song, hands raised, eyes closed, appears on my feed, and caption after caption after caption suggests I may have missed out on something really special.
You see, I don’t often experience the kind of emotion I see in pictures like these when participating in corporate song services.
I have, but I generally don’t.
My heart does settle at the truth of some lyrics we sing, but it also jumps at the questionable theology in others. I am encouraged by the sound of voices near me because they reassure me I’m not the only one who believes, but I’m also distressed by the ability of some of my brothers and sisters in Christ to sing with abandon, then treat others so poorly. My eyes do well with tears from time to time, but that’s usually a response to personal circumstance rather than an acute awareness of God’s presence in the moment.
I’m not saying what others experience isn’t real. I wouldn’t dare. It just hasn’t been my experience, not often.
Still, I know God is near.
He stirs the clouds and makes the birds outside my window sing. He brings Bible verses to mind when I’m not sure what to say or do. He opens my eyes to the pain of those who oppose me and gives me genuine compassion for them. He ministers to my children’s hearts in ways I never could and gives my husband the resolve and ability to love me well. When anxiety sucks the very air from my body, He helps me breathe.
And that’s just today.
Be careful, friends. Some corporate worship experiences are more impactful than others, to be sure, but God doesn’t “show up.”
“In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He never ever leaves.