Posted 1 years 84 days ago ago by Tom Kraeuter 2 Comments
It happened more than twenty-five years ago, but I can still picture it like it was yesterday. Heartrending events have a way of imprinting themselves onto our minds.
Our church was having a series of evening meetings. As the primary worship leader, I would be leading the music portion of most of those meetings. Since I loved leading worship, it wasn’t like this was a difficult task. I enjoyed it.
One particular evening I was running a bit late. Because of this, I was in more of a hurry than usual. Every second I could gain would benefit me. So I ran into the room where our copy machine was located, which also doubled as the room where we stored musical instrument cases. I opened my guitar case, pulled out my guitar—my baby—and leaned it against the wall. I knew from past experience that by doing this, I would be able to grab it more quickly when my copies were done.
I hurriedly put the original of that night’s song list into the photocopier and selected the appropriate number of copies. As the copies started running, though, I heard a noise behind me. I turned just in time to see my handmade 12-string Alvarez Yairi guitar sliding down the wall. I watched in horror as it hit the floor with a sickening thud. The head snapped off and the instrument I planned to use to lead worship that night was lying on the floor, broken. I felt nauseous.
Have you ever wished there was a rewind button on life? I know I did at that moment. Why hadn’t I just left it in the case? I wondered. I ran over and examined the remains. There was no way I was playing that guitar that night.
In those days I always had a back-up guitar sitting off to the side on the platform. It was there just in case I broke a string, which I seemed to have a knack for doing at the most inopportune times. That night, the back-up became the primary instrument.
Playing the other guitar was not a big deal. I sometimes used it to rehearse. The bigger issue that night was going on inside me. How am I going to lead worship? My beloved instrument is broken! If you’re an instrumentalist you can likely relate to my agony. It was a big-time struggle for me to even leave the room where my mangled guitar now lay nestled back in its case.
I wrestled with the question, “Why would God allow such a thing to happen?” I even struggled with the reason it would happen immediately before I was to lead people in worship. It just seemed... wrong.
That night, I had to choose to offer a sacrifice of praise. I wasn’t happy. Truth be told, I was unhappy with the Lord. At the same time, though, I knew Him well enough to know He was still worthy of worship. I chose to honor Him, though on the inside I was in turmoil. I made the choice to offer a sacrifice of praise.
Think about it. If there is no level of difficulty, no measure of hardship, then it really isn’t a sacrifice, is it? That night, for me, was a sacrifice. Yet, in the midst of that sacrifice, an amazing thing happened. Before we finished worshiping, I had completely forgotten about the broken guitar. Why? Because I had chosen to focus on God.
It is conceivable that you might be facing some sort of difficulty in your life. It could be a trivial matter, like a busted guitar, or it could be a life-threatening issue. Either way, I encourage you to get your eyes in the right place. Offer a sacrifice of worship to the Lord.
And if you’re not facing any difficulties right now, thank God. Then realize that there are likely people in your congregation who are facing such circumstances. So as you fulfill your role in helping lead worship, make the choice to do whatever you can to guide them to the throne of grace, where they can offer their own sacrifice of praise.
When it comes to the topic of worship,Tom Kraeuter is one of the leading voices in the Church today. For more information on Tom, his books, his teaching, or his Worship Seminars, contact Training Resources, 65 Shepherd’s Way, Hillsboro, MO 63050, 636-789-4522, email@example.com, or www.WorshipSeminar.com
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