Why is family worship important to our family? Since my oldest, Emma, was a baby we have had pretty much the same bedtime routine. Call it what you will, but it’s really been a time of family worship.
We read, sing and pray. What we read changes, but it is usually Scripture, a devotional, Biblical/church history, catechism or something along those line. We use the opportunity of singing at home to teach our kids hymns, the Doxology is a favorite and every single one of our kids know all the words. At a young age we taught the kids the ACTS method of praying (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication). For our kids this looked like fill in the blank early on. “God you are….. God I’m sorry for….. God thank you for….. and God please help…..” The routine isn’t perfect and every now and then we miss a night because of a late bedtime or something else. We are not perfect and I don’t claim that our method and idea of worship is the only way.
I’ve had several people ask me about this or make comments about it in the last few weeks. Probably because several people experienced it just seven and a half weeks ago. It’s a personal story, but it’s one that proclaims the goodness of God and how He is sufficient. I don’t share this for personal glory. I share it with hope to encourage. If you have a time of family worship, keep going. If you don’t, it’s worth the time because God is worthy. There are many reasons family worship is important to us, but let me tell you what it meant to us the night Jane passed away.
Never in my life have I understood more what Jesus meant when He said “My power is made perfect in your weakness.”
February 24. We had just arrived back at home from the hospital and met our children at the door. It was near bedtime and we had to deliver the most devastating news of our life. Never in my life have I understood more what Jesus meant when He said “My power is made perfect in your weakness.” My flesh failed me that day repeatedly, but the Holy Spirit helped and moved us. Here we were with our children, sitting in the same place we did every night, about to embark on the same bedtime routine, but everything was different.
“Where is Jane?” It was the first question. I don’t remember specifically what was said. I know we explained, through tears that Jane had passed away. I know I said a phrase I speak often in our home, “Who made you?” Without missing a beat our children replied “God”. I went on, “Does God make mistakes?” Unwavering, they said, “No.” Then our tradition, our bedtime routine, our family worship began. Robert read from our Bible History book, it was about Timothy. Who was taught from toddler hood to hold on to the Christian faith. It included reading 1 Timothy 1:17 that says, “To the King…. the only God, be honor and glory forever. Amen.” We sang the Doxology through tears and we prayed as a family. “God you are holy and you are sovereign. God please forgive me for my doubt and unbelief. God thank you for Jane. Thank you for letting us be her family, thank you that she is with you now. God please help us, please be near.”
God is good and He alone sustains.
Friends helped get the kids dressed in pajamas and we put them in their beds, thanking the Lord for his strength. The rest of the night was a horrific blur of tears, panic attacks, prayers and shock. But God is good and He alone sustains. It’s been almost 8 weeks and we have been upheld by the Holy Spirit, not traditions or routines. I’m so thankful that God put in our hearts and minds the importance of family worship almost eight years ago. I hope you never have to experience the tragedy that our family is enduring. But if you don’t already, I do encourage you to find regular times to worship the Lord with your family. Take the time. He is worthy.