Worship with Tears

>> Monday, February 16, 2009

I used to take pride in my inability to cry.

Growing up apart from the gospel, my view of manliness mirrored that of most irreligious men. I sought to excel in my ability to pick up girls, play sports, eat massive quantities of food, lift weights, and, last but not least, withold all emotion such as need or care. This, coupled with a relatively easy life, resulted in nearly a decade of tearless years. The streak, however, was beginning to end when I met Jesus and believed.

The crap really hit the fan when I began to pray.

Here was my dilemma:
I believed that I was a sinner who offended an awesome and loving and alltogether worthy God, and I believed that He sent his only son to die for my Sin. I believed that I was forgiven of a debt bigger than i'd ever known, and not because I did anything at all, but simply because of grace alone. I believed that I was saved from the wrath to come and given life to the full in Jesus Christ.

But I couldn't cry.

And this is a problem because the gospel is worthy of tears. God's grace is so great that it SHOULD make us weep. However, 19 years of sin had hardened my heart to the point that I could not be broken...yet.

At some point sophmore year, I began to pray that God would soften my heart. I was compelled to do this because:

  1. I saw that Jesus had compassion on Jerusalem and wept (John 11:35 which Chilcoat always likes to say is the shortest verse in the bible, and the easiest to memorize)
  2. I saw my friends and family blindly wandering into an eternal hell separated from God forever.
  3. I saw Jesus as gracious and loving and merciful and just and wise and GOOD! and I saw my sin against him and him only (Psalm 51:4)
  4. I saw other people cry out to Jesus from the depths of their hearts with anguish and tears, and it was beautiful.

So I prayed a very scary prayer. I asked the Lord to break my hard heart and bring me to my knees. (Oh how I rejoice hearing scary prayers! That will be another topic for another time though)

And the moment arrived. Worshipping God at Deercreek '07, In Christ Alone leveled me. But, to my surprise, I didn't break due to a hidden truth unveiled, or some crazy spiritual experience such as God whispering in my ear or something. It was simply grace. Christ in my place. Amazing love, how can it be, that Christ my king should die for me? For he who knew no sin, became sin, that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For he died once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God.

And now in this season where God has lead me, grace has never been as clearly seen. Now I cry a lot. I can't help it. Sometimes, I can't even stop it if I want to. And its beautiful because it has nothing to do with guilt. It's my sin and his GIANT grace. I keep crying when I think about this: Why would Jesus die for me

And it's manly, for it's how God made man: to worship Him

Oh to grace how great a debtor,
daily i'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
seal it for thy Courts above

My sin, Oh the bliss,
of this glorious thought.
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
was nailed to the cross,
and I bear it no more.


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