I’ll StandPosted: January 31, 2013
I’ve heard a saying or something somewhere. “We don’t say lies in church, we sing them“- so true. But what if we could reverse that saying? What if you really did mean those lyrics when you sing them? What does the heart cry of the believer mean to the Lord? What does He do with a heart yielded to Him?
As I am writing, I am listening to my Gungor station on Pandora. “The Stand” is playing by Hillsong United. It is a great song. I vividly remember one day about 6 years ago shutting the door to my home office, kneeling on the floor, lifting my hands in the air and pouring those words of that song out of my heart to the Lord. I meant, “I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, In awe of the one who gave it all. I’ll stand my soul Lord to you surrendered. All I am is yours.”
At that time, I was a newly wed with a nice brand new house. I loved my job and was even working on starting a new business. We were apart of a good church with loving friends. My husband had a good job with a lot of promise for advancement. We were working on our “debt snowball” and making pretty good progress. We were young and enjoying life.
Over the course of the next 6 years God has taken us through the fire. We were asked to surrender all of those good things I listed above except our marriage (we almost surrendered that on our own… but that’s another story). Our “story” is a mess. We have moved 9 times since that day. Faced times of very little money, a lot of disappointment, hurt, pain, sickness, stress and CHANGE.
Sometimes, I look back over the last few years and I think, “What the heck, Lord? So, we surrender our lives to you and then You wreck it?”. (I know that sounds really audacious. It is. I am thankful, however, that the Lord allows my honesty and questions.) It is hard not to grow bitter for what I feel was lost in our attempt to follow Him.
I don’t see the whole picture though.
I remember sitting in church one day not too long ago when things seemed pretty dismal and hopeless. I don’t remember the song that was being sung but I do remember God answering my bratty prayer. He said, “How do you think this is supposed to happen Trisha? “make my heart your home” “give me on pure and holy passion” “make me more like you” “captivate me” – “How do you think I do these things in the heart of someone who genuinely desires My work in their life?” I was then reminded that He refines through fire. He strengthens through difficult times. He makes us more like Him through trials not the safe and easy times.
I so wish I could share the nitty gritty details of our journey. Maybe over time I will. But I can say this. As I look back over a very rough season, I rejoice! I am so thankful because I can see the work the Lord has done in my life in just this short time of refinement!
I am content in times I would normally be unsatisfied. I have peace in situations I would normally have anxiety. I am thankful for things that I used to think were due or owed to me. There is much, much more work for the Lord to do in my life…. because let me tell you…. I am a serious mess! But it is so good to, for a little while, to be given the treat to look and see His work.
So give careful consideration to the words you sing on Sunday. Do you really mean what you are singing? He knows, rather you do or not. But if you do mean the words you pour out to the Lord, don’t be surprised when trails arise. He is working. He is making those words and prayers a reality in your life!
“Count it joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Hillsong United. “The Stand” United We Stand (live). April, 4 2006.