Last weekend I was proud to watch two of my daughters participate in a community wide praise and worship function. Churches from around the area put their choirs and worship teams on stage while the community watched.
During the festivities, there was a small group of women on the front row who were vocal and active who were fully participating in the worship. They were raising their hands in praise and loving the Lord. Their worship was unbounded and fun to watch. They were unlike most of the crowd. Most of the people there were happy to sit and passively watch like most people in worship on a Sunday morning, which is fine I suppose. But these 30 or so women were so engaged. Whether it was an old praise hymn or a fabulous new trendy song, they were on their feet and praising Jesus.
About thirty minutes in an announcement was made that these ladies were part of a home where women could go to fight their addictions. Suddenly, it was made clear to me. It was made very clear with the battles I have been fighting for the past six months.
At that moment from my balcony seat, I was more in awe of those women than the praise and worship bands. There were thirty of them and another 300 people there watching. And the most authentic worship going on was in that corner.
After my last few months with my own issues I knew what was going on.
People who have received grace and who have been through addiction know how to praise the best. People who have been through the worst in life really know how to stand and praise Jesus. And they don’t care who is around.
I’ve been in Celebrate Recovery for six months for my own issues. And there is a sweet group of women who are dealing with their own stuff who praise Jesus when the music comes on. They just let it go.
I pastored a church for ten years and I never saw anyone praise Jesus like an addict praises Jesus. I’ll tell you this. I had my own moment recently and I’m sure I’ll blog about it soon. But when Christ saves you from the brink of extinction you won’t be able to do anything but praise him.
What I’m saying is this. We need to praise in a proportionate amount to our grace. What is that grace? We have been dragged out from the horror of our sin. We were the one who Christ saved.
Christ always comes after the one.