When I began to write these weekly lyrical devotional musings I was aware of the power of music to stir the soul. But when I became intentional about finding the sacred in all music I was stunned by how often I am impacted by a phrase or thought from a song. Writer Aldous Huxley wrote these words.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
I am going through a season of trying to process and express the inexpressible. Being in community with others means you share in their joys and their sorrows. Sometimes the sorrows come in tsunami waves and all you can do is care, pray and be present. A faithful Christian servant faces a deadly illness. A selfish man betrays his marriage vows and deeply wounds his trusting family. Good and decent people deal with financial, emotional and physical suffering.
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn't come from the explained
Jesus please don't let this go in vain
That is such a powerful statement. I can’t explain why things happen. Sometimes it is sin. Sometimes it is simply life. I have learned in my years of following Jesus that He does not let suffering go in vain. I have seen over and over how God redeems sadness and tragedy. He does bring beauty out of ashes. When I cannot see how any good can come out of a trial I trust my Abba Father in faith. Believe me I don’t “feel” that but I can move forward in faith. God has never let me down. And He never will.
Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
Most of us have been there at some point. If not, you will be someday. Peter talked about the inevitability of suffering in a passage that we usually leave out of the brochure when we tell others about our faith. All of us who follow Jesus are going to suffer.
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (1 Peter 4, NLT)
Count me among the brethren who tried to dance around this truth for as long as I could. Be very glad? Seriously? But when you have nowhere else to turn but to Christ you find out that you should have turned to Him first all along.
So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide
Jesus meets you there and not in theory. He suffered. He agonized with God the Father. He knows the human condition. He has already been where you are. When the hurt and the Healer collide something amazing happens. The pain does not go away but peace and hope begin to slowly heal the pain. Peter did not end his writing on suffering with the buzz kill of Chapter 4. He wrapped it in a bow of incredible hope in the next chapter.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5, NLT)
That is a promise that we can hold on to in times of sorrow and suffering. Trust it.