Thursday, February 26, 2015


I'd like to start by sharing some fun facts of which you may be unaware.  Growing up I attended a church where we sang only hymns and the only instruments played were the piano and the organ, not that this was a negative thing because I do so love a good hymn.  I learned some core truths there that shaped me in the most important ways,  met so many special people, and made wonderful memories, but we absolutely didn't listen to "contemporary Christian" music.  This makes it sound like it wasn't allowed and I'm not sure that was the case, I just know we didn't do it.  I think I had heard of it,  but I literally did not have a concept of what it was until I was 16 and started going to a different church.

My friends would talk about these different singers, and I felt so out of the loop and intrigued by this special type of Christian music that had drums and guitars.  Sometimes people even clapped their hands.   I don't think I knew that there were entire radio stations dedicated to this type of music until at least late college.  As a result of this upbringing, to this day I am sadly lacking in knowledge of the "cool" Christian singers of the 90's, a topic of conversation that actually occasionally comes up in my life.  I smile and just pretend like I know who these people are.  

I tried to catch up, but it was hard to keep up with current Christian "hits" when I was just trying to learn the words to Lord I Lift Your Name On High.  However, one CD did catch my attention, the Nichole Nordeman Woven and Spun album.  Since I lived 30 minutes away from town I spent a lot of time driving each day, and I usually spent it listening to these songs.  And while it's SO funny to think of my 18-year-old self being baffled by this new music, to this day I love that CD.  I didn't really understand anything about what worship meant back then, but that's exactly what I was doing listening to those words.  

My favorite song by far was the song Gratitude.  I would listen to it over and over again and think about the words.  A couple of nights ago I was sitting in my bed, trying to pray, but feeling so worried and anxious about so many things that it was hard for me to focus.  I prayed that God would calm me down and the words to this song popped into my head and I wanted to share them. 

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case 

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case 

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead 
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need
So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case 

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace
But Jesus, would You please 

As I thought about these words, I thought about how they mean something different to me today than they did ten years ago.  Ten years ago they represented some ideas that I was only just beginning to learn about, and now they represent things that I have experienced--how the hardest times can be a lesson in looking hard for God, how there is often a difference between what I want and what God knows I need, how He provides in ways that I don't expect, and how I am ultimately blessed beyond what I could have ever dreamed ten years ago. 

I think telling God everything that we are thankful for is a special kind of prayer.  When I am very worried about the future I try to make a list and thank God for all of the things He has done for me in the past, and I find that my perspective changes and I start feeling thankful instead of so worried.  And I remember that no matter what my circumstances are, no matter what I think is going wrong, God has put so many good things in my life.  And when I think about it that way, the things that I worry about don't seem so big anymore.


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