Rescue & Repeat

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As we were singing this song at church tonight, and the Holy Spirit straight up stole my voice away, I realized something.

In my life, I’m mostly overcome with emotion in situations when God’s power and love are made real before my eyes–when I sing about it, when I witness lives changed by God’s power (including my own), I’m *moved*.  I know this is because it’s Power and Love that rescued me to begin with…it’s where it all began for me. I started really following Jesus when I was 16. Before that, tears were reserved for sadness and were only shed in private. I didn’t know what it felt like to be brought to tears by love, by beauty or by the sheer majesty of something so big, so great, so wonderful, there are no words to express it–only emotion.

The lyrics of “Love Goes On” by Hillsong Young and Free were too much to bear at church, tonight. And the tears came. I always do my best to hold them back…it’s instinct. But I’m filled with joy in knowing that although my heart and my mind don’t always praise God freely, the day-to-day facts of life with Jesus can grow stale for my human nature–my spirit soars with praise for Him. That gut-punch well-up is the only signal I have that lets me know I’m still connected to Him. I might put up a lot of walls. I might get lazy. I might brazenly sin. I might become apathetic. But He never moves. He never changes. And that wave of emotion in my spirit proves it’s so.

When I was in college, some Biblical and Theological Studies majors I knew would gather up and debate about theological topics. I developed and perfected my biggest over-the-top, Liz-Lemon-style eye roll in those days. Nothing irked me more than listening to a bunch of people explain away the mysteries of God with theories created by men. I called them knowledge snobs…to their faces. There’s nothing about God that thrills me and attracts me to him more than his love and his majesty. His ways are not our ways–and they certainly can’t be explained down to black and white bullet points. We can try, but we better be careful to remember they’re attempts at catching a glimpse at this great big God. And we should never be so sure that we’re right. Some Christians love to explain God to non-Christians, and to plant flags in camps within the Church even, pledging allegiance to doctrine and theology. For me? I could never make my heart pledge allegiance to anything or anyone other than Jesus.

When I decided to follow Jesus, I needed rescuing. Bad. Inside, it was dark. Almost lights-out. I’d been treading in angry and confused oceans for way too long. I was ready to stop swimming. I was desperate for rescue. He was my ONLY Hope. But what Jesus did…he transformed my heart and he *rescued* me. You guys. How can I boil that down for human man? How can I put that into words that everyone will understand? My heart *changed*. He rescued my spirit from darkness. He showed me who he created me to be and set me on a path to get there. And he’s been walking with me all this time. Power and Love. His power and love did that.

As I tried to sing through my weepy throat tonight, the reality of where my heart’s been lately surfaced. I’ve been a bundle of worry. I’ve been an anxious, nervous, confused, directionless person these days and it has been hard. Paralyzed yet at the same time restless–and desperate for peace. It’s not lost on me that I felt a lot like that when I was 16. And again when I was 20. And again when I was 24. And now at 29. As I look back at those years, I remember that He always rescued me. Every time. He gave me joy. He gave me peace. He gave me direction in his timing. He blessed me. He held me. He wept over me. He had grace for me when I took too long to get it together. He rejoiced in who I was becoming. When things are uncertain and even dark, I remember “One thing we know is sure/Your love goes on and on and on.” He keeps bringing lies into the light. He keeps rerouting my course. He reaches down into the blackness I’m far too content to make my home in, and he pulls me up, sets me on the grass, and makes the sun shine on me. He knows I might go back to the blackness…in fact, I probably will. Even so, He still loves me with a love that can’t be weakened or understood or taken away. He keeps rescuing. His power and love do that.

And He’s here doing it again, friends. His love is never failing, never shaken–and still–my ONLY Hope. His power is so great, so BIG, so intense, and His love is so strong, so limitless, so overwhelming–it’s all I can do to keep myself from crying. My spirit soars.

“Love Goes On” by Hillsong Young and Free

VERSE
We found love that never runs dry
From the depths
To the sky
Eyes fixed on the One who knows no end

You stand strong for all of time
In the joy
In the trial
You are the Beginning and the End

PRE-CHORUS
Your love goes on
Your love goes on

CHORUS
Ever our heart will seek
Jesus in everything
From sky to ocean deep
Your love goes on

Through every rise and fall
We are forever Yours
One thing we know is sure
Your love goes on and on and on

VERSE
From dawn break into the night
You’re here with us
You’re on our side
Your arms are forever open wide

You stand strong for all of time
In the joy
In the trial
You are the Beginning and the End

BRIDGE
Love unfailing
Never shaken
Hope awakens in You

 

…still reading? Check this: “Lifeline” by Hillsong Young and Free and “Lifeline” by Brooke Fraser (which suddenly sounds really dated…2003. yikes.) are two more of my favorite rescue songs. Enjoy.

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