The music practice was chaos. I always enjoy sitting in the back row of the church, watching my husband and the team practice. But today, I could only shake my head. Our worship leader was running around, switching out chords to fix a broken system while the soft-spoken sound guy helplessly tried to get the drummer (who was drumming away) to do a sound check. The pianist was playing scales, the cellist going to town with a Bach Cello Suite, and — to top it all off — a college-age kid who wasn’t even on the worship team had grabbed the leader’s guitar and was trying to sing into the mic. And there was a half hour until church started.
That Sunday was one of the best they’d ever had — unified, worshipful, harmonizing together perfectly …
Our lives are often like that. We feel circumstances are spinning out of control, our sanctification seems to be going so slowly, and we wonder what happened to the dream of holiness, worshiping Christ forever.
God could have chosen to zap us with perfection the minute he saved us. But instead, he chose this life – this rehearsal, as it were – to be a broken, struggling preparation for the eternal inheritance he has prepared for us. And it is precisely that struggle, that brokenness, that will make us ready for heaven. The struggle strengthens our resolve. The brokenness strengthens our longing. And even our frequent failings will make Christ’s total redemption the more magnificent.
This gift, so sure Ephesians 1 can say we’re already sitting in the heavenly places in Christ, will be the more beautiful for the struggle here on earth. As the old hymn puts it,
Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish;
Come to the mercy-seat, fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish,
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.