This past Sunday I had a 2-hour drive all by myself. It was after church and I was driving back to my family. Over the weekend we were spending time with some friends at a cabin and enjoying being still, sitting at fires, playing games, and resting.
Sunday during worship, I was by myself, but I was able to close my eyes and sing. On the drive back I decided to listen to music with the volume up, way up. And after a few songs from the Foo Fighters (new Album in February!) I played a worship playlist on my phone. As the songs played, I could no longer just listen, but had to participate in the worship. Yep, just me. Singing loud. Singing off key. Singing words that displayed my love for my Lord. Singing words that asked for his leading. Singing words that proclaimed His greatness. Singing words that desperately asked to trust Him more. Singing joy about His love that has captured me. Singing the simple truth that He loves me.
I sang through this playlist almost twice and felt like I still needed more. Tonight, as I write I have that same feeling. I need more. And if I was a betting man, I would say that you too, need more. You want more. COVID may have taken away our larger congregational worship. COVID may have taken you or someone you know completely out of being able to be with the church family to worship. And then there are the things that bring other worries, other fears. Our nation is changing leadership. COVID numbers are rising. Uncertainty is a larger theme in our lives than ever before.
It is well. . .
. . . with my Soul.
That is a hard line to type. It is a hard line to say out loud. And with every bit of honesty, they are hard lyrics to sing in worship. But I do.
The song by Bethel Music & Kristene DiMarco, “It is Well (Live)” played at least three times in my journey. I have listened to it about five more times since. It is a song that builds with emotion, but also, you have to let it change your emotion as you listen to it. It is a song that you bring the uncertainty, the hurt, the failure, the loneliness. You begin it with knowing things are not right. You begin it with being honest that . . . that it is not well with you. This year has taken too much from families, from friends, from students, from life. Bringing that emotion to worship is what God longs for. And as the song continues, allowing yourself to change, allowing yourself to trust you feel His presence. He has never left you.
This past weekend some of our children laid on the ground to see the stars in the sky at the cabin. There was pointing. There was giggling. And there was a proclamation of how God made all these stars. There we were being still and knowing that He is GOD. And It is well with my soul.
I encourage you as our church family to listen to this song. Change has happened for us as a church. There has been weddings. There has been births. There has been highs and lows. But don’t just listen. Allow yourself, as newlyweds, to lay on the floor of your home. Allow yourself, with a newborn, to turn up the volume. Allow yourself to be honest in worship. Honest with disappointment. Honest with hurt. Honest with joy. Honest that COVID is a mountain to be thrown into the sea, and as the waves of His goodness wash over you, embrace His presence through it all!
As your listen:
May you find your heart hurt for what was lost.
AND as you begin to worship:
May you “let go your soul and trust in him.”
May your eyes be fixed upon God through it all. Through it all!
May you find that . . . IT IS WELL.
PS. When you’re done singing take a picture of yourself and/or family laying on the floor and post it in our Facebook group. Then scroll through the other pictures knowing we all worshiped together.
written by John Kimberlin, LRC Youth and Family Minister