I love worship music, but I have to be honest – I am not always an authentic worshiper. More often than not, I sing because it is expected and familiar. True, heartfelt worship is rarely on my radar.
When my song begins to reek of monotony, I stop singing altogether and stand there. My eyes remain open and I read, read the lyrics word for word, hoping to better absorb them. I ask myself questions like: Why was this song written? If Jesus walked in the room right now, would I really proclaim these lyrics to Him with confidence? Do I even understand what these words mean?
This year’s Be the Difference: A Foster Care Awareness Event featured music from Jared Anderson, Karyn Williams, and Matthew West. We sang along with them and it was fun! But now I ask you to consider the extent to which you allowed the Lord to impact you. Did the song lyrics help you to see Jesus in a fresh way? Did they spur you into some sort of action?
Let’s quickly revisit three of the songs performed. I don’t know about you, but these lyrics have had an effect on me.
Jared Anderson “Where I Am Right Now” (To see complete lyrics, check out this link.)
I am called to be where I am right now In the middle of the storm but I have no doubt You are here with me, You are here with me And I won’t give in or second guess I’m trusting You with every step Father, You are here with me Where I am right now, where I am right now, where I am right now Where I am right now, where I am right now, where I am right now
I got to see Jared Anderson perform twice in two days – once with the Flint Groves Baptist Church choir and then again at Be the Difference. Before he sang “Where I Am Right Now” at FGBC, Jared said something interesting. Paraphrasing, he said, “If I knew my kids had to be at the doctor on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., I would get them there (because I love them). Don’t you think God will do the same? If He wants us somewhere, He will get us there.”
Think about it. God’s love for us – His creation – is much wider, deeper, and more wildly abundant than any of us could ever imagine. He loves us more than we can love our spouses, children, or even our very best friend. If He wants us to be more successful, living in a different home, or interacting with a new group of people, nothing will stand in His way. He will make it happen! However, God’s timing is not ours; He is S-L-O-W to develop HIS story for us. Our job is to TRUST, even if the path we are walking is endlessly rocky. Until He directs us elsewhere, we (you) are called to be where we (you) are right now. Embrace it … and remember the words of this song.
Karyn Williams “Nothing Less (Great Is Thy Faithfulness)” (Listen to the song here.)
We will say of you, oh Lord
When it seems there’s nothing left Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness You’ve been our strong and steady Rock and nothing less Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness
We have this confidence because of His great love We won’t be shaken, we will not be overcome Angels will guard us at the sound of His command Our salvation’s in His hand
On Karyn Williams’ merchandise table sat several handmade pieces of art, the words EMBRACE IMPERFECTION on the front. On the back, she scribbled her one of her favorite verses – Psalm 139:14 – which reads, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” Karyn made these pieces herself and said that this phrase and verse inspired her newest album, which features “Nothing Less (Great Is Thy Faithfulness)”.
Be the Difference is, well, a foster care awareness event. Not only does the Least of These Carolinas staff want us to enjoy fantastic worship music year after year, but they also hope that we will take Scripture seriously and join them in caring for some awesome kids in our local community. But we’re often scared, aren’t we? Our comfort zones are safe and cushy. We drag our feet at the first thought of leaving them, making excuses as to why it’s a terrible idea. However, we must believe – one hundred percent – that God is – as Karyn’s lyrics say – faithful, faithful to us whom He considers wonderful, despite our imperfections. We must be confident because of His great love.
Matthew West, “Anything is Possible” (Hear the full song here.)
But I found that you can find hope In the hopeless places And when you’re hanging at the end of your rope Man, that’s where grace is Anything anything anything is Anything is possible I believe that the one I believe in He is the God of the impossible ‘Cause love can fix a busted heart like mine Put it back together every single time Turn my mess to a miracle Anything is possible
In the midst of singing this song at Be the Difference, Matthew West introduced his band – the guy from Alabama, the grunting drummer, AJ – whom Matthew said needs a girlfriend – Dave aka “Chili,” and the guitarist to the left of stage, whose side of the crowd – Matthew joked – lacked “umph”. After he talked a bit about them, each one of the men sang the same line – ANYTHING, ANYTHING IS, ANYTHING IS … POSSIBLE.
I immediately wondered if ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE was repeated intentionally. It was said at least five more times than normal! Think about it – how many of us truly believe these words? Yes, we may say them because it’s the “churchy” thing to do, but in the depths of our hearts, these words carry little to no weight. More often, we believe that some situations or people are too far gone, and a miraculous recovery is impossible. After a little repetition though, our confidence in the reality of these three words – and the God behind them – increases.
Worship lyrics are immensely powerful, but when we sing them, we must believe them:
– Believe that God has us exactly where He wants us.
– Believe that He will be faithful to us because He loves us so.
– Believe that with Christ by our side, all things are possible.
If we move forward with an understanding of these truths, we can truly Be the Difference.