Welcome to my blog where all I apparently do is dissect song lyrics and how they make me feel. 🙂
Seriously though, I could probably write a book on just how God has used song lyrics to get through to me in my life. I’m a big time “words gal”, however, when some people say that, it means they’re smart… me, I’m just an admirer of the art of words and love when things are poetically profound. Again, not an english major, I don’t have a degree and you will find words incorrectly used on this blog at some point, I’m sure of it! Moving right along. 😉
Ever since Hillsong Worship released their Christmas album “The Peace Project”, a few months ago, the song ‘Seasons’ has been on repeat in my home/car/anywhere I can get the glorious sound into my ears. I was listening to it for probably the thirtieth time when these words literally knocked me off my feet and I sat down to digest them in the middle of the rush of making my homemade pie crusts and hustling to clean the house in preparation for all of the Thanksgiving guests that were arriving that evening.
“For all I know of seasons, is that you take your time, you could have saved us in a second, instead you sent a child…”
It’s always so amazing to me when the Lord uses a simple lyric to completely and unexpectedly wreck my entire way of thinking. I’m very rarely ready for what He’s going to do in my heart in those moments but I know that when they come, He’s doing something important and I better stop and take notice of it.
Sitting down on my couch, I had this immediate thought and truthfully, it startled me:
“But why, God?”
“You could’ve saved us with the snap of your fingers. It could’ve been all done right then and there. Why did you send your only Son, I mean… I’m thankful, but you could have done it differently…right?”
Immediately I felt a strange regret and discomfort at my own reaction to these words.
Now, I realize that this question is one that is very basic and probably asked or thought of often in conversations about Christianity, but you should know, I have never questioned God like that.
I’ve always had this strong faith that everything I’ve ever been taught about God or read in my Bible is true and I never questioned it. I’m not one of those people who needs all the theologically correct answers. I just know that I’ve experienced the love of God and His undeniable peace for all of my life. Even in the hard times, He has always come though. I know that the Bible is truth. So I never had reason to question it.
So as you can see, having this slightly doubtful question pop into my mind was a little bit of a shock. But what happened next is what wrecked me.
Sitting on my couch in my moment of confused disbelief I heard the words “the greatest story ever told.”
And suddenly it all made sense.
Now, I know there is a lot of theology behind Jesus coming as the Savior of the world, I know about all the prophecies and the deeper meanings behind it all. But, I had never stopped to think about the simple but awe-inspiring power of the STORY.
Can you imagine if we had never heard the story of Jesus? Can you imagine a world where the story of Jesus being born in a manger here on earth and then growing up and dying on the cross for our sins didn’t exist? It never would have been passed down from generation to generation, millions of people wouldn’t have found the hope that they have because of that story, the church wouldn’t exist like it does today… if God had simply given us the “quick fix” to our problems… the greatest story ever told, would never have been.
Sitting on my couch, mind spinning a million miles a minute with realizations I probably should have had when I was a teenager… and forgetting completely about the chores I was in the middle of… God spoke to me again. “This is how I’m using your story.”
Tears. Buckets of tears. The kind of tears my husband was probably thankful to miss since he wasn’t home from work yet. So many ‘feelings’ as he calls it. 😉
God is using my story. He’s using all of our stories.
Most of you reading this know that I lost my mom to cancer when I was nine years old. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you know that it hits you differently at random times and it’s never just something you ‘get over’. This year in particular I’ve felt the pain of missing her a little more intensely than other years. It’s been seventeen years so to say I’m shocked at how strongly the pain will still hit me at times, is an understatement. Maybe it’s just finding more about myself as an adult and wishing I had gotten to know her on that level to understand a little bit more about who I am – I’m not sure, it’s just been tougher than in years past.
God has healed me a lot through my journey of grief, but whenever there has been someone around me facing real pain and hardship, healing that doesn’t happen the way we pray it will, hard seasons that seem unending, or a natural disaster or tragedy… there’s often a small part of me that finds it hard to explain, and has even led to confusion or anger at God in some cases for not just snapping his fingers and “fixing it” because I know He could.
But there is so much beauty in the waiting.
I keep having to remind myself of what is true. We live in a broken, sinful world, but we serve a full, and all powerful God who uses our brokenness to write the most beautiful stories. What the devil meant for harm, the writer of our stories is constantly rewriting into so much good. Not only that… but He knows all the pages of our story. He’s a big-picture God who grieves with us when we go through hard things, but He also knows what is to come… He takes His time because He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11!) that are beyond anything we could have imagined for ourselves. His timing is perfect…His ways are not our ways…thank God for that.
At the end of the day, I’m finally at a point in my life where I can truly say, “God, your ways, not mine.” I want His version of my story. I want to experience all the seasons and I want to see that harvest. That isn’t to say I won’t experience doubt, that I’ll never question Him. But I know He’s the one with the answers, and if He’s not done working, I’m not done waiting.
I am overwhelmed with thankfulness today for the gift of Jesus, for the gift of the greatest story that has ever been told. And in the same way, I can look back on my life and thank God that he led me through hard seasons of pain and sorrow, that He has (and still is) making beautiful things out of dust in His perfect timing and that He is using my story and your stories for greater things that we cannot yet see.
Let’s renew our faith today and trust in the the writer of our stories, because the truth is – no matter how hard the season, He is there. He’s bringing us through it, little by little. The waiting for harvest is so worth our patience.
Thank you Jesus, for sending a child in a manger to show us your love in such a beautiful story.
If you haven’t yet listened to the song I’m talking about in this post, please go check it out and take in those beautiful lyrics, the whole album is beautiful and it will be one you will cherish through the Christmas season.