I am fine, but I am tired. I am on autopilot. That’s not entirely bad if the path is a good trajectory. But I am not taking as much joy in this part of the journey as I would like. I find frustration and grumpiness to be expressed too often. I am feeling more envy than I wish of those who travel and have leisure. I am confident in my call and choices, but it does have times when it tires one out. I am not going to crash and burn so don’t worry for me, but I welcome prayers.
This is the song I heard as I rounded the corner of the last .2 miles of the marathon. A Fitting End!
Following my message this past Sunday our worship team led this great song, God With Us, by All Sons & Daughters. I hope you will listen to my message, When Worry Meets Jesus and then watch this video (again). All my audio messages can be found by clicking the “Sermons” tab.
Here is the incredible song that I was listening to while writing the previous post. I have loved this song for many years. Having grown up fatherless it has meant much to me to focus on the fathering nature of God in my life.
I’ve been posting worship songs that reflected my heart to “yearn” for God, but there are just times you want to jump, shout, and be filled with an exuberance. That is where this song comes in. I rejoice that God, the “maker of the heavens knows my name”. My soul will ever sing His praise!
Nothing is Wasted (Elevation Worship) is a fantastic song. One lyric in particular, the title phrase, strikes me. “Nothing is Wasted, You work all things for good.” If in fact God does work all things for good for those who love Him, then there is nothing that is left outside of that work on His part. ALL means Nothing is Wasted. God is so powerful and loving that He has the ability to make even the most insignificant or most hurtful or most evil part or experience of my life work out for His good. And not just the ability, but in fact He does accomplish this.
Now let’s get real here though and let go of childish naiveté. His good does not mean our view of happy endings. As C.S. Lewis said, God doesn’t care if we are happy, He wants us to grow up. And that growth is often through sharing in Christ’s sufferings.
But as we press in and let Him accomplish the work He has begun in us, nothing is wasted.
These past couple of days I am enjoying the song How He Loves and it’s amazing lyrics.
“When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me
And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all”
What an amazing statement! To become unaware of our afflictions because they are eclipsed by the glory of God. What a beautiful reality to live in. What a beautiful way to say it. I am reminded of the old chorus, “turn you eyes upon Jesus…and all these things will grow strangely dim in light of His glory and grace”.
We (I) need to continually make God bigger in my view. To allow myself to focus more on Him. So much energy is spent on trial/sin/affliction management; fear, worry, fret, solutions, and frankly even telling ourselves we need to see God more and then running to the Bible for the fix. There is a franticness even in trying to see God.
But God calls us to just…rest. We don’t need to drum up His action. He already has accomplished it and it is there for us. We need to dwell, rest, delight and abide. Much different mood or tone with those words that are used all throughout scripture to describe the way to approach our Father.
The song continues,
“Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking”
I imagine those slow motion scenes where a person is falling backwards into the water and you see it just engulf them and then the shot takes you under the water where you see the silhouette floating down with the light rays behind. That moment of complete surrender and yielding. No fighting or struggling. Just a resignation. Of course we are not drowning, but we are dying to self. Drawn to the absolute grace. No more effort to maintain our image. No more struggle to become good enough. Just grace!
“I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
Oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves all”
A great soulful cry to trust in the strength of God!
God is unchanging, unstoppable and unshakeable! I remember years ago when taking teams of students to Mexico, every time we hit a bump in the road on our plans that I would gather the entire group together and give a good news/bad news update. I would start with the bad news, delay of getting to location, truck breakdown, loss of supplies, etc and then follow it up with the good news, “But God is still on the throne!”
God is not surprised by anything. He never steps away from the throne to take a break. He is all-powerful and all-engaged in our lives. We can place our trust in Him and yield our dreams to Him. Believe you me, He dreams more for us and to a greater measure than we could ever imagine!
Live “dangerously” and be transformed by who He is. Shed the “first world problems” of what our lives get so consumed with and focus on the greater needs and concerns of life – the lost and broken world in need of the love and forgiveness of God.
I am not suggesting our issues are not real to us – they are. Let’s just get perspective in light of eternity and in light of a sovereign God. This is my journey as of late. To be reminded of the weightier purposes in life. To know God more intimately and thus be compelled to share Him more!