Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On Holy Ground

This is a picture of my drive home from church this past Sunday. The weather was not pretty!

Most of you know that I’m seeking a new church home. On Sunday morning, I attended a service at a small church plant up in North Gwinnett County, which meets in an elementary school. During an extended time of prayer while the pianist played a beautiful rendering of “Holy Ground”, I bowed my head to pray, when I caught sight of the floor, only to notice that the pattern of the “tile” was distinctly similar to the lunchroom during my early grade school years. The reality of the “rustic” setting in which I was worshipping gave me pause. I silently sang the words to the song playing in the background…

“Let us praise Jesus now…
for we are standing in His presence on Holy Ground…”

These words reminded me that no matter where we are – whether it be a large sanctuary or arena with impressive staging and sound, a school cafeteria, a grocery store, our workplace, or a remote area of an impoverished nation – as long as we are locking our eyes and hearts on Him, as long as we are seeking His presence, as long as we are lifting praise to Him, then His presence is with us... and thus, we are on Holy Ground. It matters not what is around us. It is not a steeple or pulpit or stage or sound system or projector or fancy lighting that makes a place of worship. It is the heart of each and every person there. It is the absolute abandonment of ourselves in worship to Him. It is us, merely standing in His presence. It was a humbling reminder.

As Nancy continued to play the song, the brewing storm outside became more intense, and quickly! Just moments after we entered into prayer under the serenade of this hymn, fierce claps of thunder and piercing lightning came from the sky. The storm was here, and it was brutal. I am normally a little skittish in thunderstorms. I get a little uneasy and when at home, I will close all curtains and blinds until the storm passes, just to ease my mind. But sitting there, in that elementary school cafeteria, I stared outside right in the face of the rain and lightning, and fought back every urge I had to stand up and belt out the words to the song at the top of my lungs. (It was my first visit, after all!) But in that moment, I had a powerful sense of the victory that He has given us over the storms in our lives. What an awesome picture of the almighty power, faithfulness, love, and protection of our God.

Psalm 91:1: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

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