Monday, May 04, 2009

A step beyond thanksgiving

This time of the year is breathtakingly beautiful in Guernsey. Diane and I wander around the tiny lanes with eyes agog at the handiwork of our glorious creator God. The hedgerows are alive with colour, and the gorse is not only a blaze of burnished yellow, it's fragrance fills us with nostalgic impressions and heady remembrances of our youth in this lovely island.

For a Christian the effect is immediate. 'Wow, look what God has done! Praise Him!' That may not be the same for everyone, but most of us feel some sort of stirring in our hearts in the great outdoors.

But there is a step beyond that in my heart at the moment. In our church last Sunday we were looking together at the Bible's teaching about worship (you can hear it on Jon told us that the first mark of true worship is intimacy with God. I remembered the New Testament Greek word means literally 'to kiss toward' or as Jonathan put it 'to turn towards as if to kiss'. Now you can experience that whether you are in a garden or a prison cell, in a church meeting or a hospital bed.

And then I recalled how Job reacted when disaster hit his life. When all his possessions were taken from him and his children were all killed, Job bowed before the Lord and worshipped. He turned his tear-stained face to kiss the God who had allowed all this to come into his life. And then I feel like saying 'Wow'! At the moment my life is blighted by acute and chronic pain and frequent hospitalisation, but I pray for the ability, by God's grace, to go beyond praising Him for the beauty of His creation, and to kiss His hand in worship.

'I worship Thee, sweet will of God,
And all Thy ways adore,
And every day I live, I long
To love Thee more and more.'