Wow, it is crazy to realize how much time has already gone by! With the end of today we are officially beginning week three of nine, and time continues to fly by. We have been having such a wonderful time between concerts, van rides, and free time that its been hard to find time to write anything. Part of my lack of recent posts, however, has been due to the fact that I haven't felt like I've had much to write about. We've definitely settled into a routine and it has been easy to let each day go by much the same as the previous. The Lord is incredibly faithful, though. Every night He works in us in a different way to reveal something new about our ministry and the songs we are singing. Tonight, "Be Thou Near to Me" was such a song.
Sundays are usually long days, simply for the fact that they consist of both a morning and evening concert. As tonight's began, I found myself very distracted and unfocused, a product of the long day and the "tour groove". About halfway through the concert, in the midst of the second verse, though, I found myself struck by what we were singing:
"Though in this burden of my making, yet in the shadows still a light I see Maker whose love is not forsaking. Oh Lord, be thou near to me."
Wow, what a stunning picture of our sinful state and God's redemptive power! We are shadowed and burdened, lost in darkness due to our nature; yet God is so merciful! Deep within the shadows of our soul a source of light is found in Him. The power of the chorus was so amplified as I reflected on what these few lines meant.
"And the holy voices sing 'Halleluj! Ever will Thy reign be!' As I wander through this life, oh Lord, be thou near to me."
The song is a cry, and a beautiful reminder of how our attitude should be formed toward Christ. Without Him, we are helpless, lost in darkness, and shrouded by our terribly sinful nature. When we pour out our burdens to Him and ask that He be near to us, He is faithful and does just that. James 4 reminds us that a right relationship with the Lord requires that we abandon our former, sinful lives and ask the Lord to replace them with His life and His desires. We are never called to any form of halfhearted faith, only to one of total abandonment of self.
He must increase; I must decrease.