Inviting someone to share your spirit can be intimidating. There is this fear, or rather - multiple fears. Will I be accepted? Judged? Ridiculed? Am I too sensitive, too critical, too needy? Am I more than expected? Less than the standard? Will I be enough?
It's the last question that probably haunts the most. Enough. When fully carrying the burden of that measure, a soul can crumble beneath the weight.
This post is a little bit of an invitation, but it is also a declaration. As a mortal, chained and bound by the limitations I accept as the norm, I admit that the proposition is a timid request. But as "His Favorite", I can declare that I'm free from meeting any superfluous stations, and just simply be.
A friend once told me "Jesus love you, but I'm His Favorite." I scoffed, laughed, and argued. He argued back. After years of near-misses, reversals of "bad fortune", and otherwise leading a blessed existence in spite of suffering - the title has been granted to me by many, unchallenged. I win.😏 Don't worry. I have learned to share.
Not only am I willing to share that title, I'm overjoyed to share my Sanctuary with you. Each song today is by one of my favorite worship singers, Phil Wickham. He writes lyrics and music from the overflow of his heart but the central message is the heartsong anthem of every believer.
Ever notice that Christian songs tend to be able to interchange the lyrics penned for divine relationship with Christ with the same sentiments for a mortal loving relationship? Of course, there is a very obvious reason for this for believers, though the connection might be lost on others. In this song, the singers express their need to run to the "secret place where You are". Not an obvious place- like a church or a public place of worship where you might be on display, but a secret place where they can "sing of all the ways You stole my heart."
One of the words that acts as a constant "cheer" for a heart that tends to run AWAY from God when I need Him most - is "I'm RUNNING to the secret place." It's a harsh contradiction, isn't it? Sadly, most of the believer's life is exactly that. If there is a secret place where your foundation, your safety, your rescue, your hope reside - why would you ever run away? Hm. yes. why. The battle between the old and the new, the changed and the fixed, the hopeful and the helpless, the doubter and the believing. All wrapped up in the same person, it can tear you limb from limb. Thank God there is a secret place that is never off-limits, no matter what.
It's always been You
From start to end, this song speaks my story, in some of the most intimate ways. Have you ever had someone say things that no one could know? And yet, there they are ripping the words from your soul as if they had gone through your diary with a highlighter, dog-earing the most important pages. Pretty sure Phil was digging through my trash for his lyrics. 😁
I won't go into detail about how this song narrates how God has rescued me time and time again - it's bad enough that Phil knows where all the bodies are buried. hehe But for you, maybe you feel that way too after hearing this. Know that you're not alone in that! ❤️
When I look back over all the times where I thought I was making the first move to correct something, or pull myself up my own bootstraps - now I can see the overwhelming evidence of His footprints being there first. Even when I thought it was me, or someone else - "It's always been You", Lord.
This song comes with a trigger warning. We lost a dear friend in a terrible tragedy. If this will hurt your heart, please just listen to the song and let it speak instead.
This song narrates the whole story, from creation, to crucifixion, to resurrection to eternity. I absolutely love this song - it's a musical masterpiece, but more than that, it's my reason for being.
A few years ago, this beautiful human being made us all proud by giving his life to be a pilot, bringing necessary items to native tribes. When I say beautiful, I mean in every way - heart and soul, language and manner- just an absolutely gorgeous young man. Tall, striking, kind eyes, stunning smile - simply BEAUTIFUL to look at, interact with, and know!
He knew that the plane that he was flying wasn't the best, but it was all they had - and he continued to fly it until the day it crashed violently. The last thing he was able to do before the flames engulfed him was get his co-pilot out to safety. They were able to drag him out shortly after, but he was burned over 80% of his body. The very next day, he passed, leaving behind a young (just as beautiful) wife, 3 daughters and a baby they had just learned was on the way.
I bawled. My heart wanted to know why. But my soul didn't truly need an answer. This side of heaven will have tragedy because this world isn't perfect.
Just two days later, we sang this song at church. The last verse details "arriving at eternity's shore, where death is just a memory and tears are no more." All I could think about is how he was there. His race was finished and he was beyond this illusion - this shadow of reality. Heaven isn't just a hope for the believer. It is EVERYTHING. I just recently spoke to someone in DM, how people think we are joking when we say we're ready! lol We laugh too - but the laugh is out of exasperation for this version of life that has been overshadowed by pain, corruption, greed, selfishness, pride, superiority, and more. But, as she and I
jokingly comiserated, we also knew that the time here is short, and eternity is approaching. Then we will approach that shore... RUNNING, and forever be in awe of the beauty of God, and find our forever Sanctuary.
Long post again, but I still enjoyed writing every word! I wanted to join in #threetunetuesday again for @ablaze's challenge! I love it!!! Thank you for doing this!!! But it went SO nicely for @samsmith1971 and the #dreem-wotw challenge too - which is SANCTUARY! so - two for the price of one! hahahaha
If you want to join in either - please just ask me in the comment section - or tag @ablaze or @samsmith1971 for the details! And then write your hearts out! ❤️
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