Why Your Life is Like a Magic Trick

Lately, this season that my husband and I have been walking through has been long, treacherous and quite painful. We battle not only my sickness, but desires, dreams and goals that go unmet for various reasons.

In the past few weeks, we have not only been hit with a financial burden that was completely unseen, but physical struggles we weren’t expecting. Our marriage has taken the brunt and after just over a year of wedded bliss, we found ourselves unfulfilled and wishing for more.

As I sat back and analyzed all that was happening around me, I realized that quite often our conversations spoke about what we didn’t have, what we couldn’t do and where we weren’t in our lives. I heard us say “When you/I get better, we can enjoy our life for a few years, then have kids.” Or, “If only we made more money, we could have some fun.”

After several days of reflecting on these statements and the mindset behind them, they grew more and more unsettling in my heart. I realized that we, for some reason, are in a routine that says our “now” isn’t good enough.

I realized that once we get what we think will satisfy us, or go where we think will make us happy, we will always—and I mean always—be looking for more. Ecclesiasties 6:9 puts it this way: “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

Recently one morning, before my husband left for work, I stopped him in our kitchen and said “Babe. You know how when you watch a magic trick there is a magician who is trying to sneak something by you. He is doing some kind of slight-of-hand or other trick and needs you to be distracted so he can ‘pull it off’. During that moment, there is usually something huge, loud, bright, or attractive going on just feet away from him; but it draws our attention away so the trick can be completed.” I continued to explain to him that I felt like our life was a huge magic trick. There is a lot going on right now—no doubt. However, we need our focus to be diverted to something else so the “trick” can be completed.

Not only is there plenty of negatives happening, but there are just as many positives. I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time seeing them most of the time. It’s as if the positives sneak past you in camouflage while the negatives parade by in bright clothes and loud music. They stand out and stick for much longer in the recess of our memory.

What if we shifted our thinking just slightly and thought about life as a magic trick with God as the magician. He’s got this amazing “trick” He’s trying to complete, but He doesn’t want us to focus on the how, when or why.

Let me ask you this. When you watch a magic trick and the ending happens, what feeling are you left with? I don’t know about you, but I am in complete awe and stopped dead in my tracks by sheer amazement.

You see, that’s how our lives can be. It will be filled with those “awe struck” moments if we just let God do the magic trick while we divert our attention elsewhere. We need to get out of the “when things get better” or “when we are more secure financially” mindset and realize that we are living right now!

We have this imperfect—and if you’re honest—beautiful life in front of us TODAY. All we need to do is enjoy the here-and-now, stop wishing for the better tomorrow and embrace the broken today. Count your blessings, bloom where you’re planted and just enjoy the magic trick!

I’ll leave you with this. My husband and I aren’t perfect. We are the exact opposite of the newly-wed picture-perfect couple. We have our ups and we have our downs; but right now, our change is happening one day at a time, one distraction at a time and one positive at a time.

The True Heart Of Worship

Last night, my husband and I had the opportunity to experience a date night at the new Hillsong movie Let Hope Rise! It was absolutely amazing! If you know me at all, you know that worship is where I am the most alive, grounded and feel the closest to my Savior. This movie was done in such a way where the hearts of each member of the band were clearly expressed in an honest and vulnerable manner.

I began to ponder what worship truly is and how God desires our hearts to be aligned with His when we enter that sacred time with Him. Worship is defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” Many groups of Christians live in a way where worship is only held on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and at mid-week Bible study. The reality is that God desires us to worship Him in every second of every day. He doesn’t need us to dress up and clean up in order to meet with Him. He wants our hearts in a surrendered state, saying “Father, You alone are worthy of my all.”

So, you know when you’re sitting at the red light and you glance into the car beside yours and the driver is in their own little world singing or using the steering wheel as a mini drum set? Well, truth is, I’m that driver almost every time I’m behind the wheel. I have discovered that in those moments of solitude, where I find myself alone with God, I often unearth a spirit where I am completely caught up in His love and faithfulness to me; and in turn, I can’t help but worship who He is. I possess the freedom and liberty to joyfully, though not always pleasantly, sing along to worship anthems like Hillsong United’s “With Everything” and offer my praise and surrender to the only One who deserves it. It is a time, like the lyrics below state, where I ask Him to break down my pride and the walls within me so that I can begin to view things and others the way He does.

Open our eyes,
To see the things
That make Your heart cry,
To be the church
That You would desire.
Light to be seen.

Break down our pride,
And all the walls
We’ve built up inside,
Our earthly crowns
And all our desires,
We lay at Your feet.

So let hope rise,
And darkness tremble
In Your holy light,
And every eye will see
Jesus, our God,
Great and mighty to be praised.

God of all days,
Glorious in all of Your ways.
Your majesty, the wonder and grace,
In the light of Your name.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout for your glory.

With everything,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

Our hearts they cry
Be glorified,
Be lifted high,
Above all names.
For You our King,
With everything,
We will shout forth your praise.

I began to ponder what it is exactly that makes Hillsong so successful as a band and as a worldwide church? Is it because they are “cool”? Is it their talent? Is it their powerful lyrics? I do believe that each of those qualities adds to their success but without the key elements driving them, they would have never reached the accomplishments that they have! So you might be wondering what are the key elements that their band is built on. It’s Christ. It’s humility. It’s surrender and sacrifice. It’s stepping aside so Jesus can shine through.

Though most of us will never reach the level of fame that the Houston’s and the rest of the band members have; we, in the same way, need to keep our priorities straight as we enter our personal time of worship. If we are consumed with being seen, heard or known in a public way, then we miss the mark completely. We need to enter into a spirit of worship while we get ready for work, prepare our meals, while we’re driving, as well as in the public arena of church. Hebrews 12:28-29 says “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Let that sink in for a moment. We have the privilege to worship the God of the universe that loves you just as much as He loves me!

Have you ever seen a small child looking up at their father with their hands raised towards him? They are in a position where they are asking him to lift them up and carry them. It is ultimately a surrendered spirit saying “I need you.”  In worship people often raise their hands in many different ways. If you don’t know what I mean, take a second to watch this funny video! In all seriousness, I do this nearly every time I worship. It is not as a show or spectacle, it is rather as a child of God lifting my hands towards my Father saying “Father, I need you”.  It is surrender.

I believe that the time has come where it is essential for Christians to grasp the true heart of worship and look past the instruments used or the time period the songs were written. Just as the old hymn “Amazing Grace” rings true today, so do the new worship anthems such as “Oceans” or “Touch The Sky” penned by contemporary Christian bands. So let’s put ourselves aside and let God step in. Let’s worship Him in all areas of life with a heart of submission and vulnerability and let’s prepare ourselves to see Him move in ways we’ve never experienced before!

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