Sunday, November 27, 2011
Come to Jesus (with lyrics)
As I have told some of my story in past blogs about being without my husband and raising two children for almost five years, the point has been made, I hope, that life is often hard. Not just a little hard, but it can be very hard. What is it that keeps us from just drowning in a sea of pain and giving up? What is it that we who are Christ-followers have that keeps us from reacting and grieving in the same way that the world does?
JESUS! Have you ever thought of just how beautiful that name is to those of us who believe? I remember times in my life when I was so weak and so defeated that the name of Jesus was all that I could force past my lips. It was a cry and a prayer all in one.
I have seen my sister cry out the name "Jesus" when she was having a seizure. Nothing else; just Jesus. And it made a difference...He came..you could feel Him in the room. What Father, what Savior would not come when His child calls His name. The name of Jesus is the most precious name I know. And when I hear other people say it lightly or take it in vain, it literally hurts me. My heart feels a stab of pain like no other.
Jesus carries all of my burdens and my sorrows. When I am filled with joy, I dance and sing to Him. And one sweet day, I know as surely as I know my name, that He will call me that final time and I will gladly fly to Jesus. I will fly straight into those loving arms that have often wrapped around me when I was crying too hard to even express what was wrong. I always knew that He already knew. Why wouldn't He? He was there when I was formed in secret in my mother's womb. (Psalm 139) He knew me before I was even created as a tiny baby. He knows my very soul and spirit. Someone has said that the spirit lives within the soul which is made up more of a personality and lives within a fleshly body. I think of my soul as being deeper than just my personality that others can see though. I think it is the part of me that Jesus can see and that it is the part of me where His spirit resides which literally changes everything in life.
How does it do that? When Jesus lives within me, I can quit trying to live the Christian life on my own. I can quit trying to serve Him. I can just put myself on the altar and ask Him to take every part of me and do whatever He wants to me;however He wants to do it; whenever He wants to do it; and that I will gladly submit. It is my admission that I am weak and nothing without Him. You know what? That is just how He wants me to be because then He can live THROUGH me and I can quit trying and just cooperate. After all, there is nothing I can ever do to make Him love me more or less once I have given myself completely to Him as my Savior AND my Lord.
The Lord part is an absolute. He wants all of me or He will have none of me. I must completely just take Him at His word that He has saved my soul and will seal me with His spirit and keep me until the day that He comes for me again. I am safe. I can relax. I can just be. I no longer have to be so concerned with doing. What needs to be done, He will do THROUGH me. Isn't that a wonderful thought? For a type A personality like me, it is absolutely liberating. I have spent so many years trying to please Him, to be better, to be perfect. I have tried to get His approval in the same way that I always tried to get my earthly Father's approval, through performance; through doing good.
But God is not like an earthly father. His plan is to live through me and as long as I keep trying to rely on myself to please Him, I am not leaving any way for Him to take over and live through me. That is why often, that He allows painful things to enter our lives so that we are on our back and there is no way to look but up. We are broken; at the end of ourselves FINALLY and then we cry out to Him as Peter cried out when He took His eyes off of Him and started to sink into the swirling waters of the sea. We make this walk with Him so much harder than He meant us to. I am convinced of that. We have so much more of Him that we can appropriate if we realize just how devoid of anything He needs except ourselves, our absolute surrender.
That is why this song I have included so touched my soul and spirit when I first heard it today. It is such a simple and joyous song. It speaks of the simplicity of just trusting Jesus through every storm and through every joy and for our final departure from this earth.
I hope that it will touch you as it touched me. By the way, I am currently reading "Grace Walk" again by Steve McVey. Many of these thoughts were influenced by the first few chapters of this life-changing book so I want to give him credit for some of these ideas. Grace has been a challenge for this "do it all" girl. Grace is changing me from a "doer" to a "be-er". It is changing me to one who simply is and doesn't have to run around like a cat chasing its tail trying to be busy, busy, busy at pleasing God and serving in every capacity I can in my church and my community. Does grace mean I don't do anything? No, but what comes from me will be an overflow of Christ living and working within me. I no longer have to conjure up the energy and the works that were of no good to me or God anyway. It is liberating, as Steve summarized.
So I shall memorize the words to this little song and sing it joyfully when I am riding down the street, or cleaning the house, or in my bed with health problems that I have been having. And I shall praise Him as I sing it for He inhabits the praise of His children and I want Him as close to me as He can possibly be.
How about you? Have you gotten tired yet? Are you not tired of the merry-go-round? It wore me out! Get off and bow before Jesus and just give Him everything and let Him take over. Then come and sing this song along with me! It will be joyous, won't it?