One of the great joys in my life is leading worship at State Street Community Church and I have just passed my 3-year anniversary there. God has been gracious in allowing me to do this thing that I love and it blows my mind that I get to keep doing this week after week….they actually LET me do this. I keep showing up, and they keep letting me do it, which is way cool.
One of the occupational hazards of my job (or immense joys depending on how you look at it) is having a million billion favorite songs all at once. I’m pretty sure the phrase, “I absolutely LOVE this song!” escapes my lips at least once (usually more) each week at practice. I can’t help it; I mean I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THESE SONGS! And honestly by the time a song makes it onto my Sunday morning playlist, it has already become a part of me. It has challenged me, broken me, and drawn me into the presence of God.
My current favorite is a song called “Come to Me” by Jenn Johnson. I stumbled upon this song on Spotify sometime last summer and was instantly drawn to it. You can listen to it here:
The thing that I love about this particular song is that it is God speaking to us:
“I am the Lord your God; I go before you now; I stand beside you; and I’m all around you.
Though you feel I’m far away; I’m closer than your breath; I am with you; more than you know.
I am the Lord your peace; no evil will conquer you; so steady now your heart and mind; come into my rest
and oh let your faith arise; and lift up your weary head; I am with you; wherever you go.
Come to me, I’m all you need. Come to me I’m you’re everything.”
There are so many times that I need to be reminded and encouraged by God. Sometimes I forget; and I need to remember who he is. He has promised to go before me, to stand beside me. As the psalmist David wrote, “You hem me in-behind me and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” We cannot escape him. There are so many times when I feel so far from the presence of God and then I am reminded of who He is. He is closer than my breath; He IS with me. And with that knowledge comes incredible peace. He draws me to him and speaks gently “Come to me.” Come. to. me. Stop whatever it is you think you need to do and just come. Stop trying so hard child. Stop allowing this world to overcome you. Stop worrying. Stop rushing. Stop doubting my presence in your life. Stop fighting me. Simply come to me, because I am everything……EVERYTHING.
It’s the everything that brings me to my knees, because I am overwhelmed by the fact that it is so beautifully true. He IS everything. He is the very life I live; he is the very breath I take. It is in that “everything” where I can find peace, where I can find anchor, where I can find rest.
but the thing is, so often, I don’t.
I struggle. Don’t we all? I’m tired. Aren’t we all? I doubt and question, on a consistent basis. And so often I want to pound my fist and say, “I’m done.”
With every ounce of my rebellion I kick and scream against the love of God, against the grace of God. What is THAT all about? I bring nothing to the table of God and still, He humbly accepts my broken, tattered state. CS Lewis in his book The Problem of Pain writes, “God accepts us even though we take him as a last resort. We offer up our own when it is no longer worth keeping. Yet he still has us. He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer
everything else to him. He still takes us.” HE STILL TAKES US. He says, “Breathe me in; live my presence; come to me beloved. I AM all you need.”