Going through a time of transition can be one of the most stressful experiences in life. Even if it is a fun transition it can cause stress as you manage all the details.
A couple months ago my husband was talking to someone about being at a crossroads in his life. The person mentioned that in Ireland people used to gather at the crossroads in the city to dance. I thought this was interesting so I looked it up to find out more.
“It was a type of social event popular in Ireland up to the mid-20th century, in which people would congregate at the large cleared space of a crossroads to dance; often to the accompaniment of a single accordion.” (Wikipedia)
After reading this I immediately thought, being at a crossroads in life is an invitation to worship God!
Being at a crossroads can feel like a blessing and a curse, can’t it? We can be filled with the excitement of all that is to come but often I think it’s more a time of experiencing waiting, fear, confusion, or fretting about making a decision. Sometimes it’s all of those emotions rolled into one giant emotional roller coaster.
But here’s the thing…either way, it’s a perfect opportunity to worship God!
Two reasons. First, no matter what is happening in our lives, God is worthy of our praise.
Also, worship breaks the chains that are binding us! And other people get to witness God’s powerful response in our life.
I love reading about Paul and Silas in Acts 16. They were in a city sharing the good news about Jesus when some people got mad at them and started accusing them. It quickly escalated to a riot with the local authorities ordering that Paul and Silas be stripped, beaten with rods, and imprisoned.
As they both lay shackled in the jail cell, instead of feeling sorry for themselves, this is what they were doing:
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” (vv 25-26)
Not only were Paul and Silas freed from prison but all the other prisoners were loosed, too! Those who witnessed Paul’s and Silas’ worship–and God breaking the chains–were deeply affected. As a result the jailer and his entire family believed in Jesus.
Just like in this story where God broke off physical chains, worshiping God breaks off the invisible chains of fear, anxiety, doubt, anger, and other negative emotions. And…not only are we set free, but the people around us who witness our worship and God’s response to it get to encounter God as well.
+Are you at a crossroads in your life?
+Are you experiencing a difficult situation where you are tempted to turn from God rather than turn to Him?
I want to encourage you to worship God even if you don’t feel like it. Just try it and see what happens.
Worship isn’t just singing or dancing, it takes on many forms, but even just simple verbal praise to God is powerful.
This is one definition of worship I like as it relates to God:
“Worship is an active response to the character, words and actions of God, initiated by His revelation and enabled by His redemption, whereby the mind is transformed (e.g. belief, repentance), the heart is renewed (e.g. love, trust), and actions are surrendered (e.g. obedience, service), all in accordance with His will and in order to declare His infinite worthiness.” (Theopedia)
Worship is a choice. Always. Some of the times I’ve been most encouraged by God are times when the last thing I wanted to do was worship Him. But as soon as I start making myself thank and praise Him, it always snowballs from there and carries me to a genuine place of peace and encouragement.
Like the psalmist, sometimes we just need to tell ourselves what to do. “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)
So, when you find yourself at your next crossroads, take a minute to dance!
(photo credit: National University of Ireland in Galway, 1891.)