Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mercy Me

There is no easy way to describe quite how burdensome the cumulative impact of daily life in NYC can become for someone who despises loud noise, fast-paced living, greed, cynicism, materialism, and hoards of people. You can try to tune it out, but it's always there on the periphery, chipping away at your peace and inner quiet. Add to that a heaping handful of truly saddening and trying situations with nearly every male who has been important to me in my life (and we're not talking about my dad and brother here), I have cause of late to realize that I am at a low low place. There is much about it I don't understand, and there is much that I may never understand. For the most part it just downright sucks.

But the good thing about being here is that the only place I have to look is up. The other good thing is that it's SO terrible and unbearable that it forces me to realize that the only way I can get through is with God. That He is bigger than all the hurt, all the frustration, all the pain. That my vision extends about 5 inches beyond my being and His extends through all of time, weaving together everything FOR HIS GOOD.

I believe this and I trust this with every ounce of my being. And that is why despite all that has happened, particularly in the past month, I can rest knowing that God is in control. Whether it has to do with NYC and how many times I've honestly felt like I would rather call a UHaul right now than deal with one more day waking up to a jackhammer outside my building doing construction
or a crowded subway ride, or it is just one more seemingly stable relationship that falls to pieces, what keeps me sane and grounded is knowing that even in the seemingly "bad" thing in life, God is at work and He allows it all to occur because it works together to bring Him glory. I may not always be happy but I can take joy in knowing that this world is only temporary and that our "burdens here are light and momentary compared to the glory that will be revealed in us."

What made me realize this fully was when I was at a Mercy Me concert on Monday. So they're a Christian band, and those of you who have read of my last Christian concert experience would understand why I was skeptical of approaching this again. BUT, given that they're known in mainstream music and that it was taking place in BB King Blues Club and Grill in Times Square, I thought it would probably be pretty safe. As it turns out, I was right, and it was in fact a really great concert. It was fun. It was powerful. It was some darn good music, too.

The last two songs they played before the encore had a particularly powerful impact on me, and I want to share those lyrics. Throughout the entirety of both songs I just stood there with tears streaming down my face, completely broken, yet completely feeling as if God was right there with me, by my side telling me it would be ok.

Bring the Rain
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

I Can Only Imagine
I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

Though I may not see right now how this is all helping me or what I will learn from it, and in fact I may never fully understand the "why" behind everything, I can rest in the knowledge that I am here. I am alive. I am free. And I serve a God that is so much greater than anything I may face in this world. I need only turn to Him to gain peace and the strength to make it through one more day. We are given our "daily bread" just as the Israelites were as they traveled through the desert. No more, no less. If we trust Him for this, He will supply in abundance.

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