I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.
~Psalm 59: 9,10,16,17
A couple weeks ago we had a fall celebration at church. That day a verse was shared from Psalm 59. I read the entire Psalm and, like many Psalms, I found a connection to it. Namely it was the references to God being our strong fortress & protector, our source of steadfast love & mercy which caused these thoughts to be lodged in my mind all day. These are really great things to think about during the course of a day, whether you are going through trials or not. All of us face enemies. Some within ourselves and without. Anyway, that evening as it grew dark, I gazed upon the fire in the fire pit which stands on the old church swimming pool. Isn’t that interesting that in the very place where water of a pool once refreshed us on hot summer days, now a fire inspires us, but that’s another song I do believe that might find it’s way out after a few more campfires. It was at the fire where the words to this Psalm first started to mesh with a melody. Thoughts came to mind of God’s heart, burning like the sun with love for his Bride, with His arms open ready to receive her as she runs to meet Him. The gates of His protection and deliverance swing wide open to welcome those who would call on Him. So here’s this little song which ended up sounding alot like an old hymn when. The recording below is the audio from last Sunday’s worship time where we introduced this song to start things off. It goes into John Mark McMillan’s “How He Loves” right after as a bonus listen. The picture is of the actual fire that night.
This past Sunday we spent the first part of church on our knees in prayer asking for God to reveal himself and move His Spirit in this generation. There was mention of different revivals in history, the latest of which predates me, so I guess I’ve never really experienced a time when God’s Spirit moved in such sweeping ways. This song came to mind as I thought about what was said about what these moves of God had in common, namely a fresh call to repentance within God’s church.
This began as a prayer, a desperate cry for God to help me keep it all together on a night that I needed it. Gradually, as my prayer was answered, the song began to rewrite itself into a corporate prayer and proclamation of God’s acceptance and His abiding presence with us.
At the end the point of view changes. This is where God spoke to me exactly what I most needed to hear that night. If you ever think you’re going to lose it or that life is too big for you to handle, then perhaps you need to hear it too.
Open your heart now. Your faith was never dead. Look in my eyes child. Listen to what I’ve said. You belong to me, no more doubts and wandering. Home is here with me. Our love will last for eternity.
The other night I sang Twila Paris’ “The Joy Of The Lord” as a lullaby to my youngest son. Then I laid down with my oldest son as he fell asleep. Well I went to sleep too, and a few minutes later was awakened with news that I was needed to help a family member with something. Somehow I just didn’t have that enthusiasm to help that a good follower of Christ should have. As I drove to town late that night I wrote most of this little song to ask His joy to find me. In the coming days I saw references to joy almost everywhere. The latest of which was tonight when the Youversion verse of the day was Isaiah 61:7.
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.
Another reference was a Facebook post from our pastor about God’s everyday, abiding presence with us. It is joy, to know that He is with us. That was alot to write about a pretty short song.
A Gideon speaker was at church on Sunday. I am always impressed with the simplicity and focus of their mission. They produce and distribute Bibles through a global network of volunteers. That’s it.
Our church prayer focus this week has been our worship life both as individuals and as a church body. Life, at church or otherwise, lends itself to complexity. It’s not easy to keep things simple. But the Gospel of Jesus is just that. A Savior “put our lives above His own, to make us daughters & sons.”