By Matt Hein
After a busy but refreshing day of worship this past Sunday, I drove our children home and they all went their separate ways, some to play and some to read. I was in the kitchen setting out lunch items when I heard a small voice singing in another room.
I moved closer and listened as our 4-year old daughter kept on singing the refrain of Kip Fox’s Sound of Grace. She had heard it sung it in worship just a few hours before and now was quietly singing, “Grace, sweet grace, a mighty waterfall…” She was thirsty that Sunday morning and Jesus had filled her up.
Please know that I can’t get my 4-year old to drink water. She has always been this way. Throughout the day this little girl runs and dances through the house. She sings and yells and reminds everyone she is alive. But does she drink any water? No. One would think that at some point she would get thirsty. Sometimes she does but often she continues on unfazed by a dry pallet and parched lips.
There is something, though, that does make my little girl thirst. She thirsts for worship. Almost every day, at some point, she asks if tomorrow is Sunday. When we ask why the answer is always the same: “I want to go to worship.”
She thirsts for worship.
I’ve often asked myself if I have that same thirst? Do I desperately long to come to the house of our God to receive his gifts? Do I need Jesus so much that I ask each day if tomorrow is Sunday yet? I long to have that kind of thirst.
Psalm 42 was one of the readings in worship this past Sunday. My wife and I have long held the fourth verse as fitting for our little girl.
“These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.” Ps. 42:4
The Psalmist was remembering, in the middle of his deep thirst, what it was to be in the life quenching presence of the LORD, in the house of God, drinking from His word and promises. But it was dry as the Psalmist remembered, parched from the challenge of people asking, “Where is your God?”
On Sunday my little girl was very spiritually thirsty and she remembered where that thirst had been quenched time and time again. She went to the house of God under the protection of Jesus. She shouted praise in her quiet, reserved way. And her thirst for Jesus was quenched again.
That afternoon, after she had sung through Sound of Grace a few times, I came in, put the song on YouTube, and sang it with her. Later when I asked her why she liked the song so much she shared, “Daddy, that song is about sweet grace and I know that Jesus is going to raise grandma from the dead.”
“Daddy, that song is about sweet grace and I know that Jesus is going to raise grandma from the dead.”
Her grandmother died two months ago and since then she has been thirsting for God to act, for Jesus to come, and for the Mighty One to raise her grandma. That’s her hope, her prayer, and her thirst these days and she longs to go to worship because it is where she meets Jesus whose sweet grace runs like a waterfall of life in the face of that death.
In worship she hears Jesus in his word. In worship she remembers her baptism and makes the sign of the cross. In worship she receives Jesus’ blessing and benediction.
In worship she confesses her faith in Jesus and the Resurrection of the Dead. In worship she returns praise for this grace that is a fountain for her soul. And, despite another week where Jesus has not yet returned, in worship she is refreshed to keep thirsting and hoping for Jesus to come and raise her grandma.
And, despite another week where Jesus has not yet returned, in worship she is refreshed to keep thirsting and hoping for Jesus to come and raise her grandma.
This past Sunday Pastor Rossow, proclaiming this sweet grace of Jesus that refreshes our deepest thirst at our most desperate times, said: “This is not just a promise for the bedside, it is a promise for the graveside.” I needed that grace as I joined my little girl in clinging to the hope that my mother, her grandmother, is going to rise and live again because of Jesus.
My little girl loves to go to worship. She thirsts for it each week. And after seeing her there today, hearing her singing about sweet grace, and having Jesus quench both our thirsts, I am longing for worship to come again!
Is it Sunday yet?
Read more about this song and why it was chosen for worship in Grace Sweet Grace: An Interview.