by Caryl Moll
Worship should be so easy. Shouldn’t it? “Worship” is a natural outpouring of our Spirit as we seek to express our love and awe of the incredible God who we serve.
Ok, I have to admit that I sometimes battle to do this – particularly during church services on a Sunday morning. To me it feels awkward as I watch others lift their hands in unified praise. “Should I raise my hands?” I ask myself. I feel really uncomfortable and battle to focus. It’s just awkward for me.
However, my own spontaneous worship usually comes in quieter moments where I am alone and where there are no social barriers between me and my Lord. I can focus on God fully and not the people around me. I can simply be myself. The truth is that we are all unique. I believe that God knows each of us intimately and loves us anyway (Ps 139), even if we may be reticent in following the crowd.
So, my experience in the Eastern Cape wilderness in January 2019 was one of those heart-stopping moments when I realised that it really was ok to be me and praise the Lord in whatever way I personally can – so long as it’s honest, natural and comes from the heart…
It was our first day of our much-anticipated holiday – just Robyn (my daughter) and I – a week together to celebrate my 60th birthday and also the culmination of her achievement – becoming a Vet. It was just the two of us, mother and daughter, on a pristine beach in one of the most beautiful settings in South Africa – Umgazi River Bungalows, Port St Johns, Eastern Cape.
Our bungalow was perfect – set on the river mouth where terns fished freely as the tide filtered in and retreated at its own methodical pace. Our location separated us from most human contact.
On the first morning, I woke up really early. Light filtered through our curtains as twilight stepped aside for the sunrise. I nudged Robyn and pointed to the cows resting quietly on the beach across the estuary. She was awake immediately. She’s always had a soft spot for cows.
We grabbed our walking shoes and headed for the ferry which would take us to the opposite beach. We could hear the crash of waves in the distance as we stepped off the little boat. Our feet sank into the soft sand and produced the morning’s first footprints. Slowly we made our way towards the cows at the water’s edge. They were nonplussed as they lay there chewing their cuds. The sound of the ocean was building with each step. Becoming Deafening. We stopped to take in the incredible beauty surrounding us. Miles and miles of unspoiled beach. Paradise.
Suddenly, an overwhelming urge to sing filled me. It took hold of my voice and placed Matt Redman’s song, “10 000 reasons” in the forefront of my thoughts. I allowed myself to lift my hands and sing into the waves. Loudly. Robyn caught on too… Together we skipped along that beautiful beach; joyously singing out praises to our Lord that morning. No inhibitions. The cows stared at us as if it was totally normal.
It was the most beautiful expression of gratitude I have ever experienced – barefoot, praising, salty breeze in our hair… and love…pure love! “Thank you Father,” was simply not enough!
So, I want to encourage you, my reader, to find your own, unique style and place of praise. The Lord knows us so intimately and hears us anywhere, anytime.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name. (Hebrews 13:15)
During this past week I have tried to capture that moment in the Eastern Cape. It’s a milestone in my own spiritual journey. I’d love to share this video with you… It’s a testimony to unhindered praise; a time I spent in worship, with my daughter, in the presence of our Lord, where we were able to praise Him freely and honestly.
“BLESS THE LORD… OH MY SOUL.”
With love, in Christ