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Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Tea is a temporary solution to the cares of the world,  it certainly helped…. Most problems could be diminished by the drinking of tea and the thinking through of things that could be done while tea was being drunk. And even if that did not solve problems, at least it could put them off for a little while, which we sometimes needed to do, we really did.”

Mma Ramotswe – No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Do you ever get hold of a song which refuses to leave your brain? I’ve had that with an entire album recently – it’s called Heaven and Earth by Phil Wickham, a Christian worship leader from the US.  I’m not usually a fan of Christian worship music – I’ve even blogged about how the music is often predictable and written in a Westlife stylee (obligatory key change, stuffed full of perfect cadences etc) and has cliche lyrics.

I’m not going to sit here and say this album breaks any boundaries but there are a few songs which have just got under my skin. They have made my spirit soar and call out to God in a way which hasn’t happened for a while. So I figured – maybe it’s worth blogging about them.

The first one is a song called “Hold on”

I have a friend who is extraordinary honest about herself and her struggles in life. She’s a big believer in full disclosure as a means of encouraging others– and her belief in this has actually helped me a lot as when I heard what she had to say, I realised that when it came to some struggles – I wasn’t alone. I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing her blog.  So I’m trying to take the same approach….

Why did this song hit a particular chord?  Over the past few months there has been a “battle flashing across the sky” in my own life. Relationships were torn away from me, I found myself isolated and I was left with the aching heart Phil sings about. Have you ever been in a situation where things have just crumbled around you? Situations where you feel physically shocked by what you are experiencing because you never dreamt this type of thing would happen?

There’s a line which is repeated “Love is going to make it right – just hold on, just hold on.” Over the past few months I have to admit that I didn’t believe things could be made right. I have felt intimidated – when it comes to relationships, the fact is, the love that I have doesn’t make things right in the way that I would want it. There are  some things, some perceptions and beliefs that I just can’t compete with.  There still isn’t real restoration of relationship, or intimacy, or truth…

So I started to wonder – what am I doing wrong here? Are my weaknesses just too much? One of the things that I really struggle with is oversensitivity – I have chronic pain which means I’m consistently tired – and when you are tired it means you’re more likely to take things personally. Have you ever been so tired that if you just stubbed your toe you would burst into tears?! That’s a frequent experience for me – which doesn’t always make me the easiest person to be around. It’s not just the pain and the tiredness though – they are a factor but I cannot blame everything on that. Being oversensitive and overreacting to things is something that has been a struggle for as long as I can remember – before the pain problems started. So when people wound me it takes me much longer to pick myself up than it really should do. Which can be a problem when it comes to relationships…

So my first reaction to hearing that line was “bullshit!” I love – but it doesn’t seem to make any difference and I can’t seem to stop these wounds from hurting…and this really scared me as I began to feel completely powerless.

But then I realised I wasn’t appreciating the lyrics in the way that they were meant to be read. Because the next lines and verse read “There’s mercy in the morning light, When you’re weak love is strong”…”I’m going to carry you through fire, I’m going to hold you in the rain, You don’t have to be afraid, Take my hand, Here I am.”

Then it made sense. It’s not my love that make things right. A verse from Ephesians sums it up – “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” I need to get my head around just how big God’s love is – which apparently is not an easy thing to do as Paul has to pray for the Ephesians to be able to have a proper understanding of what it means. Of course that kind of love can make things right. If I can get just the slightest appreciation of how powerful that love is, then it gives me much more cause for hope. I don’t need to keep beating myself up for my weaknesses because ultimately, it will be God’s love that makes things right – not my strength or lack of weakness or overcoming of sensitivity. I can stop getting upset about not being able to do anything to change situations – as it’s God who will bring about the change, it’s his love that will do the work.

It’s funny. The actual circumstances I am in have not changed. The fire is still there. At times I do get afraid, my heart does ache…but when I come back to the message of this song I take comfort because I’m reminded that actually I’m not alone in it, that I can take his hand – and whether or not I get the resolution I’m hoping for, his love will make things right, will make things be the way they  are supposed to be.