May 18, 2009
This past weekend was rather nice. Although Saturday morning I was running around, trying to do some last minute cleaning, a little stressed about family coming into town, by Sunday afternoon I was tearful that my sister and her girls, as well as my mother, had to leave so soon. It’s been a long time since we’ve had such familial support.
My daughter gave her first piano recital on Sunday afternoon, playing two songs that she’d diligently practiced for the past few weeks . Yes, there was a small glitch here and there, but for the most part, she nailed both songs! I was quite proud. And not only did the experience help her confidence tremendously, it likewise challenged Jamie as a pianist: she was notably impressed by an older student’s performance.
Following the student recitals, the instructor closed the program in song. And though I’d worked hard to clean the house, press clothing, prepare meals in order to have a successful weekend with family in tow -I wasn’t prepared for what she did. You see, well, we had church. (At least I did.)
She played and sang “My Passion”. (To say I’m the jealous one is an understatement. To be able to play a song like that, much less to sing and play it simultaneously, is my idea of heaven on earth.) Had she’d played, “Your Grace is Enough” or even “I Can Only Imagine” – yes, that would’ve been good. But it wouldn’t have been what I needed to hear, wouldn’t have been what touched some part of me deep inside that I’ve been praying to find again.
Do you remember this song? I found the lyrics online, and yes, they’re simple. But combined with the melody, they touch a place deep inside of me that remembers… a place that remembers when Jesus was my passion. When He was everything I trained my thoughts upon. When He was my focus, my attention, my place of security, peace, and rest. And this song just comes with a special feeling for me, an aching to know God, an aching to be totally in His presence.
You alone are my passion for living.
Song of my soul, desire of my heart.
You alone are my passion, my treasure.
I love You for all that You are.
To the ends of the earth I will follow.
There’s nothing that I would not do.
You alone are my reason for living.
Jesus my passion is You.
Jesus my passion is You.
My life. My love. My God.
You are my life…
(from Alive Forever by Travis Cottrell)
This morning on the Fish, the DJ mentioned that God doesn’t change. God never changes. I thought about the past six months or so and the way I’ve changed. How I must have been the one to start walking away. After all, His Word says plainly in Deuteronomy, Joshua, and in Hebrews “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.
Forsake means “to renounce or turn away from entirely” (webster.com). According to the Bible, God doesn’t forsake. So, He still loves me. He hasn’t forgotten me or written me off, though I shut down when life doesn’t turn out the way I hope it will. My stubbornness is nothing new to Him (ref Ecc 1:9). He remembers that I am dust, that I’m human (ref Psalm 103:14).
Hearing this song again got me in touch with that ache of desperation, that part of me that I could not feel because I had run away. It brought me back somewhat to acknowledging that I need God. That I am a desperate one. (My pride, my pride hates being this way. It hates being dependent. It wants its way and I feel scorned when I can’t live up to its demands.)
As a friend succinctly put it this morning, “But God”. I pray that He’s doing what I couldn’t – taking my stubbornness and turning it on its head. That I would, like my friend, have an adamant faith in Jesus. A faith that is unshakable, a faith that knows that pride is a temporary thing. That soon enough it will be turned on its ugly head, fashioned for eternal worship.
Flesh, pride, our very lives – none of these are our own.
And now everything – yes, take everything, including my pride. I’m so sorry Jesus.