I’m going to try something a little different and write a few posts about music I’ve been listening to and how it impacts me.
Music is a very powerful thing and one of the ways I connect closely with God. Certain songs or artists have had a huge effect on events in my life by allowing me to experience Him through them or making something “click” about things I have been working through.
A great example of that would be Hillsong’s “Oceans.” Before you roll your eyes, I know it’s a bit cheesy and very overplayed, but some of the lyrics helped me on my path to youth ministry. When I was first starting out, I was very unsure of the direction God was wanting me to go. It was completely off the path of where I thought my life was going and I had no experience going into it.
The chorus starts with
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
I felt that God was leading me to a completely unknown situation where I would have to trust him with absolutely everything, wherever He may be calling me.
Then it continues
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Youth ministry was farther and deeper than I would have ever wandered on my own. It was only by God’s direction that I ended up there, and through it, my faith and relationship with Him has grown immensely.
So yes, it’s a corny song, but the lyrics are true and it helped me develop trust in my relationship.
Recently, I’ve been listening to “Whole Heart” by Brandon Heath and it’s made me rethink a few aspects of my faith and my attitude towards God that I thought were pretty solid and didn’t need any “review.”
The song starts out
Well I called your name a long time ago
And you sprung a well from a heart of stone
But I was careful then what I let you see
Only thought you wanted the best of me
And this was true of me too; I’ve been a Christian for a large majority of my life, but I usually only talked about what I had a handle on or the spiritual things I needed a little — not a lot — of help with. I only wanted to show Him “the best of me.”
The second verse is what really stood out to me:
So I’m ready now, gonna let you in
All the way to the scars beneath my skin
And you don’t look away ’cause you understand
And you hold my heart with a gentle hand, oh
It was the “understand” part that got me. I’ve always known in the back of my head that God cares about the intimate details of our lives, but I never really lived that out. For most of my life, I only talked with God about spiritual things, practical things, and my relationship with Him. I didn’t want to “concern” him with my personal issues.
But He cares deeply about those things too, and wants us to come to Him with them: When I’m dealing with depressive episodes, or when I’m feeling lonely because I’m not in a relationship, or when I’m frustrated with something a friend is doing. He wants to help with all of that.
I think I’ve been subconsciously walling off parts of my heart because I’m embarrassed, or think it’s stupid, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how silly something may seem to us, God wants to heal the pain and give us peace, whatever it may be.
I’ll give you all of me
So that you can see
Every broken piece and open up my
Whole heart, whole heart
I’m going to start making a conscious effort to open my “whole heart,” including the parts that I don’t think God wants to hear about, and I hope to experience the peace that only He can give.