20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

letting the hair down

there’s a song I gravitate toward when I feel on the edge of despondency. It’s a song by the late Rich Mullins. It was a song that I, my college pastor, and two dear friends of mine sang on a couple occasions in worship–which may add to its resonance to my heart, since college was such a watershed season for me spiritually.

It’s his “If I stand”

the chorus begins with:

If I stand, let me stand on the promise, that You will pull me through
and I can’t let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you
If I sing, let me sing for the joy that has born in me this song

but it’s the last line that always gets me:

and if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home

do you ever think that the times of melancholy–whether short or protracted, intense or gradual like a gathering storm–are part of what God allows so that we might indeed not get too cozy with this form of existence and instead long for the as yet undisclosed country….that the struggle here is meant to whet the appetite of the soul for the feast yet to come?

even as I ask that question, the answer seems obvious: of course, God means for us to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col 3:2). But isn’t it interesting that part of what gets us to do that is not so much an act of will on or part, but an act of God to get us to long for such?

gotta go

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4 Comments»

  Lindsay wrote @

I love love love that Rich Mullins song and find myself grasping to it often. And how good it is to long for home.

I read this by Skip Ryan today in his weekly devotional…I think its relevant to our identities as we stand in Christ and find our meaning in Him:

“Seek a personal experience of being dwarfed by the holy God, for it will make you humble, and it will make you courageous. Then He will send you out.

The time comes when we put aside the “I want” and “I do,” and say with Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Is Isaiah arrogant to say, “Send me?” No. He says, “I am here, in all of my weakness and frailty, and You may use me now, Lord, because pride is gone.” God has angels, but He incarnates His message in human beings who have seen the holiness of God’s rule and the greatness of His merciful forgiveness.

The felled terebinth tree spoken of at the end of Isaiah 6 releases a sweet smell when it is broken open. When your pride has been smashed by the vision of the holy rule of God and the cleansing sacrifice of Christ, out of your life comes a sweet smell, something wonderful and beautiful for God. The holy rule of God’s throne room shatters us. His cleansing forgiveness at the altar puts us back together, and His purposeful sending moves us into this world with a burning fire to live for His glory. Have you been broken, cleansed, and mended? Are you ready to go out in the confidence of His grace to an idol-filled world of pride and arrogance?”

  Booker wrote @

“The specific crisis is this: We have grown and developed to the point where we desperately want more than we have, and in particular we want more authority over our lives. But then a crisis comes in which we are morally constrained to take less than what we had before. Instead of moving up the corporate ladder, we find that we must leave the company and pump gas for a living. This is typically a moral constraint. We could remain and advance if we are willing to compromise; but if we won’t sin, we shall lose everything, or so it appears. Far from becoming a king, we become a pauper instead. And, importantly, this reduction in status is not imposed upon us from above by someone else or by circumstances, but rather is a decision we make ourselves. We CHOOSE to take less, acting as kings who are willing to die”. From Bread to Wine by James Jordan(unpublished)

As was mentioned earlier, there are many circumstances that we didn’t choose but God has that lead us to long for the resurrection and home. But sometimes, out of love, we joyfully choose to embrace the cross.
Peace,
Troy

  Laura wrote @

Thanks for singing this at our wedding – and thanks for the reminder.

  Chanelle wrote @

DEFINITELY agree.–>


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