I was looking at my friend’s pictures taken on her most recent mission trip to Guatemala when one photo in particular caught my eye. The photo was taken from behind a group of young kids who were sitting in folding chairs with their hands raised in worship. It was an interesting perspective: dozens of little brown colored arms lifted high in what was clearly an enthusiastic time of praise. The beauty of that moment was contrasted by the poor condition of the chairs the kids were seated in. They were all really beat up, with chipped paint and an assortment of dents and dings. I imagined that the chairs were probably pretty wobbly and made all sorts of squeaks and creaks any time their occupants shifted position. However, it was quite evident by the picture, that the poor condition of the children’s chairs took nothing away from the richness of their worship.
I found out that the picture was taken at a Compassion International Child Development Center. So, these kids are living deep in poverty. Their old and worn chairs a symbol of the underprivileged lives they experience. Yet, unhindered, here they were, worshiping the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.
No wonder Jesus tells us that unless we change and become like little children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3). Kids just get it! So often the love we offer God is conditional. Sure, we’re excited to worship God when everything in life is hunky-dory. It’s easy to shout His praises when things are going our way. But, how about when they are not? Are we just as sincere in our worship when life stinks, we don’t see an end in sight to our pain and, to be honest, we’re a little bit angry with God for letting it get that way?
When times are tough, we need to remember that God hasn’t changed, our circumstances have. He’s still the same all-powerful, loving father we had when life was going well. He still deserves our worship.
So, let’s pray for hearts like those of the children in my friend’s picture, that He will foster in us love for Him that remains deep and strong, no matter if we are sitting in a plush easy chair or a squeaky old folding chair.