Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. ~ Psalm 150:6 NIV
Little Ella’s big brown eyes shine as she raises her hands to God. A live porcelain doll, her head full of curls sways as she moves to the music, a contented smile gracing her tiny face. At three years old, Ella has no inhibition. She doesn’t notice us watching her.
We are not her audience.
Ella moves in praise to Jesus. The church people around her aren’t dancing. Here and there a solitary worshiper stands with hands raised, but most are simply quiet before the Lord, seated and meditative.
Ella is not mimicking the worship of others, nor is she held back by the more conservative expression of her elders. She simply follows the prompting in her heart.
An unexpected rush of tears comes as I watch. Ella’s worship, so genuine and innocent, paints a picture of adoration. There is no doubt in my mind that Ella loves her Creator and is showing Him through her little dance.
As I reflect on the advent season, I think often of Ella. Such an innocent act of praise is a rare jewel in a rushed and busy world. I’m learning some things from that little girl.
First, Ella worships God as if no one watches. She dances without wondering if the person next to her thinks she’s inappropriate or awkward. She is not stifled by self-awareness. Ella just follows her desire to praise, expressing her heart in freedom.
It’s an important lesson for me to learn. To make my choices based on my love for Jesus instead of the approval of men.
I will not live for men’s approval. I will live to bring joy to the heart of the One I love, the One who set me free. The One who loves me too.
Ella also comes to God in absolute joy and confidence. She didn’t doubt her worthiness to do such a thing. She doesn’t question if He likes her or her style of worship. Ella simply dances before God as the beloved daughter she is. The look of absolute joy in her face indicates that she feels His pleasure in her gift of praise.
I embrace this truth. In Him I am welcome. I am worthy. He likes me, and He likes every single offering I bring from my heart of love for Him.
I bring Him pleasure.
You, sweet, sweet friend, bring Him pleasure too.
In Him you are always welcome. Worthy.
He treasures your every offering of love.
Dearest Jesus, fill me to overflowing with Your love. I want to worship the Trinity in joy that cannot be held back. I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You welcome my attention and delight in my worship. Help me follow You, give to You, worship You without wondering what anyone else will think. You are worthy of every ounce of worship within me. Show me how to express the love inside. Make it swell within, overwhelming me with the wonder of You. Show me how to express adoration. Capture me, heart and soul, and give my praise dancing feet.