Saturday, January 10, 2009

How Great Thou Art...How great, indeed!

Today, I did a little YouTube surfing. Sometimes I get a song stuck in my head, and I just HAVE to find it on YouTube to satisfy my musical curiosity.

For whatever reason, today I was humming that long-time favorite, How Great Thou Art. I am not sure the last time I actually sat down & listened to or sang this beautiful song (beautiful in spite of the way I sing it! ;-).

In watching one of the random videos on YouTube for this song, I was reminded of one of the stanzas in the song that really got to me today, to wit:

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

I think that part of the song means more to me now than it ever has. I have traveled many a mile in my faith walk. I have endured so much & cried more than my share of tears. I promise I’m not boo-hooing or throwing a pity party for myself (again), because I know that anyone who has somehow managed to hold on to faith in a world not always faith-friendly, has had their own trials & their own challenges. I’m sure it’s difficult for anyone to cling to something so sublime & so physically insubstantial as faith. To believe in something that, by mere definition, is impossible to prove scientifically, can never be easy for any of us in the “modern age” (or of any age, really) where faster and faster & more complicated computers by the day, can derive a solution to nearly any problem or any question, but which cannot even begin to derive the value or the strength of faith. We come to count on a constantly advancing technology as a regular part of our every-day lives, and so, in an ever-more-cynical All-Information-All-The-Time world, it becomes too easy to doubt what we cannot see or prove. In the primordial battle between our hearts & our minds, where faith is concerned, only the open heart can foster that which is, at once, so ethereal yet--in order to sustain us & to guide us in who we are as human beings--so iron.

As much as I knew/know God loves me, and as much as I have loved my Lord since I came to know His name, I wouldn’t be entirely truthful if I told you that I never, ever doubted for a moment that those who claim to speak for Him might be speaking even a speck of truth when they blare from their pulpits their beyond-sure knowledge of my unacceptability in the Kingdom. Just as with many others like myself, I’ve never been able to take my status as a child of God for granted. It’s not easy trying to remind yourself every, single day that God loves you even if His people do not…or cannot…or will not. It’s really tough sometimes to keep holding on to a truth—and to a faith—when all the world seems to see things so completely differently—and insists so loudly that what makes you different is also what makes you fatally flawed. Maybe faith was never meant to be easy, and maybe it requires strength beyond what we mortal humans can muster by ourselves. From my own personal experience, I do know that, once its roots had taken anchor in my heart, my faith held on to me, even when I felt like I could not hold onto it much longer.

Of course, where this issue is concerned, I have become an expert at rambling (probably comes from all those years when I dared not utter a single word about what was going on on THIS side of the huge walls I stubbornly built around my own heart), but what the beautiful song, How Great Thou Art reminds me of today is that Jesus “bled and died” for even someone like me. That simple but stark & life-changing fact is why I am still here today…and why I still dare to Keep The Faith in spite of “the facts” that others create to try to separate me from God.

“They” may have their beloved “facts” & “they” may have the all-consuming pride of their secure knowledge of God’s heart. I will settle for having a simple truth…so simple, in fact, it’s sometimes easy to forget in the constant spiritual war without end: I’ve got the blood of the Lamb, and—while “they” may work feverishly at trying to convince me & the world otherwise—like that other old song goes, “No, no, they can’t take that away from me…”


Michele said...

Glory glory glory... Thanks be to God. Much love sweety.. I really needed to read this and watch this video. Thank you!

Michele said...

Glory glory glory... Thanks be to God. Much love sweety.. I really needed to read this and watch this video. Thank you!