He’s Already Shown Us

I’m talking about a song today, but, for a change, this is a modern song. Although probably no one would either know or care that I quoted the lyrics here, for copyright reasons, I can’t do that.

So here is the YouTube video.

Aside from the initial ignorance in the first verse, where the songwriter speaks as if he’s able to hide things from an all-knowing God, when I first heard this song, I sort of liked it. But to be perfectly honest, I thought it was a little impertinent. “Show me this, show me that.” As if God is obligated to do what we want in order to secure our favor. I mean, I believe in cultivating a close relationship with God, but does that mean we should go around making demands of Him?

Eventually, I kinda got over myself in that regard. I daresay the Psalms make requests in a tone that could be interpreted as either demanding or pleading. And God does not turn His ear away from our pleas.

With this new viewpoint, I listened to the song some more, and I finally understood why it didn’t ring true for me.

It was the questions themselves.

The songwriter asks the questions almost as if he hopes desperately to receive an answer yet doesn’t really expect one.

But these questions have already been answered.

The songwriter asks God to show him five things:

  1. That a broken life is redeemable.
  2. That God can handle blunt honesty.
  3. That God never lets go.
  4. That God’s love will never leave.
  5. That grace is for people like the songwriter.

That a broken life is redeemable.

Have you read the story of David lately? How he fell into spectacular sin, but when he repented, God redeemed him.

Or the story of Mary Magdalene? She was possessed by seven demons. (If that’s not broken, tell me what is.) Jesus cast them out, and Mary became one of his most devoted followers—and the first to see Him after the resurrection.

Or the story of Paul? The man killed Jesus’ followers, but Jesus redeemed him and the Holy Spirit inspired him to write a large portion of the New Testament.

Those are just a few examples from Scripture. A broken life, be it ever so shattered, is definitely redeemable.

That God can handle blunt honesty.

I’m not sure exactly what the songwriter means by “handle,” but I guess he’s saying he doesn’t want to shock, embarrass, or turn away God by his honesty.

Have you read the book of Leviticus lately? Or Ezekiel? Or some of the other prophets? Some of the laws concerning personal hygiene and physical ailments indicate that God isn’t likely to be embarrassed. And that chapter in Ezekiel about Oholah and Oholibah is pretty shocking if you ask me. (Chapter 23, if you must know.)

I daresay honesty, even the most blunt, isn’t going to be a turn-off for God.

That God never lets go.

Here’s an interesting one because it very innocently hints at a controversial doctrine. I’m going to leave the doctrine alone and peek at few Scriptures.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

-1 John 1:9 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

-1 Peter 4:19 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the Holy One who is faithful.

-Hosea 11:12 NKJV (emphasis mine)

God is faithful. It’s part of His nature. He’s not going to be the one walking away from you.

That God’s love will never leave.

Let me take you to one of my favorite passages.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:38-39 NKJV (emphasis mine)

God’s love doesn’t run out.

That grace is for people like the songwriter.

Based on the first verse where the songwriter mentions scars, weakness, and hidden things, I suppose he thinks of himself as having a broken life to some extent. I refer you back to point one, where we see that a broken life is redeemable.

Most assuredly, grace is for broken lives. And if I may quote the most famous verse in Christendom …

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

-John 3:16 KJV (emphasis mine)

Whosoever. That covers everyone.

“Show me,” the song asks over and over. But He’s already shown us.

I suppose it’s not the questions I have a problem with. Doubt and insecurity come to every heart. The deeper the heart’s wounds, the more susceptible to those doubts.

The problem is the questioner is looking for answers in the wrong place. He wants a voice from heaven or a supernatural experience or something dramatic.

And while those things are lovely, and I believe they sometimes happen, that’s not where we start.

We start with the Truth God has already given us. His Word.

When we have honest questions, it’s okay to ask them. Then we should go to the Bible and find the answers.

-Miss Darcy

P.S. Lest you think I have a vendetta against MIKESCHAIR, here are two of their songs that I love. 🙂

“Let the Waters Rise”

“All to Jesus”

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What Child Is This?

I love Christmastime. I mean, I really LOVE Christmastime. I love the lights, the music, the fragrant spices, the secrets hidden all over the house.

For millennia mankind has celebrated joyous occasions by feasting on delicious food and sending gifts to friends and family. (Esther 9:19, for example)

And why do we celebrate?

Because of a tiny Child.

What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?

This Child, sleeping in His mother’s arms like any other child. Except He has an audience of quiet, reverent, awed shepherds; and angels–angels!–announced His birth.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!

Christ, the Anointed One. The King of heaven and earth. He is the Child sleeping in His mother’s arms.

Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why are we so slow, so shy to give Jesus praise, when He is the King of the universe?

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.

Why is the King in such a poor stable with an ox and a donkey crunching feed in the background? Why not a palace?

Because few of the people He came to save live in palaces. Most of them live in poverty, or just get by tolerably. And this tiny King is not afraid to associate with them.

Even now, His very presence pleads with them to turn to their loving Creator.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.

He will bleed to save them.

Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why are we so slow, so shy to bring Jesus praise, when He has bled for our salvation?

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;

Incense, because He is God. Gold because He is royal. Myrrh, a burial preparation, because He will die.

Come peasant, king to own Him.

Everyone, no matter your status. Come.

The King of Kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone Him.

That’s where the King of Kings wants to establish His throne–in the hearts of those who love Him.

Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.

Can you imagine the first songs of praise for Baby Jesus? The angel’s chorus. And Mary singing, like any mother sings to her baby.

Joy! joy! for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why are we so slow, so shy to lift our voices and sing to the One who has brought us such joy?

I find such immense depth in the lyrics to this song, and I’ve just touched a bit on the things I see in the words. Here are the complete lyrics, uninterrupted by my musings. And this is my favorite recording of “What Child Is This?”

What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh; come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high! The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

-Miss Darcy

Be Thou My Vision

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m musing on the Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.”

But first I want to review who St. Patrick was.  He was a fourth-century Briton, not an Irishman. His parents gave him a solid Christian upbringing, but he didn’t find Jesus for himself.  Raiders captured him as a teenager and sold him for a slave in Ireland. There he met the LORD.  He served for six years before he escaped and made his way home.  But he couldn’t stay home.  God sent him back to Ireland, this time as a Roman Catholic bishop to evangelize the country where he had been a slave.  The Lord showed Himself mighty in Patrick, and he made thousands of converts.

And we complain about the situations God puts us through, as if the Lord God can’t show Himself mighty in any trial that comes our way! (But I digress…)

An unknown Irish poet wrote a poem in the eighth century. In 1905, Mary Elizabeth Byrne translated the words to English. Around 1912, Eleanor Henrietta Hull versified the translation, that is, she gave it rhyme and rhythm in the English language. In 1919, the poem was first published as a hymn, set to the old Irish melody, “Slane.”

Here are the English lyrics:

Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole Armor, be thou my true Might;
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

The Methodist hymnal published this song without the third verse, so we rarely see it now.  But think about the richness in these words!

Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

What if the Lord was our Vision? What if we saw people and situations through His eyes? Would we behave differently?

Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;

What if everything that wasn’t of the Lord, for His honor and praise, meant nothing to us? Would the things we consider so important suddenly drop out of our lives? (This particular line keeps prodding me. Beware of reading it too thoughtfully.)

Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

What if we really valued God as our best thought? Would daily details and difficulties seem less worrisome? His presence is our light; why should we let darkness prevail?

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;

What if we really valued the Word of God as the strongest Wisdom? What if we threw out worldly philosophy and psychology that doesn’t square with the Bible? What if we esteemed this world’s teaching as the foolishness it truly is? Could the Word of God transform our minds and lives?

I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

What if we truly desired closeness with our Creator above all else? Would we be willing to cut activities and entertainment to make our hearts more fit for His dwelling? Is oneness with God what we want, or will a meeting with Him every day or so suffice?

Be thou my Breastplate, my Sword for the fight;
Be thou my whole Armor, be thou my true Might;
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

What if we don’t really know how to fight? What if we stopped fighting in our own strength and let God protect us, arm us, and empower us? Could we find victory in our battles with the world, the flesh, the devil, and people who oppose us?

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

What if we forgot to consider money and people’s opinion when God called us to do something? Would we do more?  What if we really let God be our treasure, the most valuable thing in our hearts?

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!

The Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, has promised us heaven’s joys. What if we remembered that when the world falls to pieces around us? Would we have more peace?

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

No matter what comes, I want the Ruler of the whole universe to be my vision. What about you?

The Christian music group, Selah, recorded a beautiful version of “Be Thou My Vision.” And if you’re interested in a fascinating read about St. Patrick’s evangelism, for children and adults, try Flame Over Tara.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

-Miss Darcy