I always wondered what it is like to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed”. I’d hear it being said all the time, but never truly understood it till today.
I woke up this morning – correction, I dragged myself out of bed this morning – with a numbness throughout my body. And my mood, ugh. It was like all this time all the things that hurt me physically and mentally were on pause and today it was like all of them decided to un-pause themselves. When I voiced out my body’s cry of pain, I had the word “lazy” thrown at me which made me want to scream bloody murder, but that was just the beginning of a very crabby day.
About late afternoon, somewhere in the midst of tears and homicidal intentions, I looked at my phone and there was an alert from YouTube about a new video. Normally, I ignore these alerts because I think I’ll watch it when I feel like it. (That doesn’t stop me from leaving the alerts on, for some reason.) As I was trying to swipe the notification away, I accidentally opened the link and the song that played made my eyes allow those tears to fall freely.
It was just what I needed to hear. That all my hurt and pain is being carried away by Him. That no matter how dismissive the world may be toward my pain, there is One who notices it all and bothers to find some way to talk to me even when I am in the crabbiest mood and refusing to listen to anyone. Even when I am so down on myself and feel like I am so alone, He finds the perfect words to show me that I am not and never will be alone. That no matter all the garbage that the world so generously keeps throwing at me, there is still hope for a very hopeless nobody like me.
There is something deeply unsettling when someone tells you to sit still and wait. Remember when we were children and our parents would tell us to wait quietly? I think those moments were the most difficult few minutes of lives to stay still. It’s like when the dentist tells you to stay still and that is when you feel the most urgent urge to move about, even though there’s a masked bandit in your mouth with a drill.
So when the Lord tells us to wait, it is the most difficult and trying period of our lives. Not because we’re being “persecuted” or “tempted” or anything that would mean we’re spiritually high up. But because we just can’t stay still. Have you ever been told to not look behind you? What did you feel like doing? I don’t know about you, but my instant reaction would be to turn around and see what they’re telling me to not look at.
So when the Lord tells me to “Be still and wait”, all I want to do is “something”. Anything but wait. I get restless and anxious. Watch the clock ticking and the minutes that turn into days and then into months. Waiting is hard. And to be still, is harder.
Then the restlessness and the anxiety become loud and abrasive in my head. They make me want to do something stupid. Or thoughts like, “This is not what God wants you to do”, or “Maybe you just imagined His promises”, come up and there is no tangible argument to fight them. Helplessness and loneliness are next. I feel like no one understands me and that I can’t do anything about my situation. I feel lost and then anger barges in. I feel mad at the Lord. Why isn’t He communicating with me? What went wrong?
I’ll tell you what went wrong. I gave in. I allowed myself to think that God isn’t there anymore. That He has forgotten me or abandoned me. Self-pity ruled over me. Or the thought that God was accountable to me. The truth is, I have no right to shake my fist at God and demand an explanation. Why? Because I am not doing as He said. He said, “Be still and wait” and what did I do? Everything else.
I came across this song by Meredith Andrews that speaks to me in this situation. It is beautifully expressed and deeply encouraging. If you’re going through something like this as you wait, I’d recommend a listen. It will be worth your time.
Touch the sky from Hillsong UNITED’s new album Empires is one of the most touching Christian songs I’ve heard in a long time.
The word to best describe this song is “paradoxical”. Phrases like “upward falling”, “I found my life when I laid it down” may seem like they don’t really make sense. But that is what Christian life is, sometimes. It is hard to explain and people think we’re crazy. That is why I love this song so much. It nails the paradox of spiritual experience so well.
There is an unsaid feeling about spiritual existence. A calm that causes an uproar within. An excitement that can’t be contained. That’s what this song expresses. A paradox that is our life in Christ. It speaks of surrender to God and everlasting joy in the aftermath. And the greatest paradox of all, “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground”.
You know those moments when you’re so down that nothing anyone says helps? In these times, Lord uses other means of bringing us up. For me, it has largely been music. It helps that we’ve been blessed to live in an era where Lord is using talent everywhere to bring us wonderful songs that speak to us and bring us closer to Him. I thought I’d share some of them with the world, so they may help you, the way they’ve helped me.
Beautiful by MercyMe was one of those blessings that stare right in your face but you don’t really see them until you’re in need of them. About 3 years ago, I was going through a “storm” and felt abandoned and alone. My self esteem had reduced to zero. I had lost all sense of purpose and direction and that’s when I really heard this song. I was travelling, with my headphones on and my playlist on shuffle, when the words of this beautiful songs stood lingering in my head.
This song was like a warm hug on a cold winter’s night. Telling me that I matter to Someone. Telling me that I’m “made for so much more” than all that I’ve lost. Telling me that I am loved and more importantly, cherished. THESE WERE THE VERY WORDS I NEEDED TO HEAR. Not that I am physically beautiful, but that whatever had happened wasn’t the end of the world. That the God who loves me, not only gave His life for me at some time in history, but that very God is concerned that I am upset right now and chose to encourage me and made me feel loved again. Hope this song speaks to you too!
Stay tuned for more such songs!