The contemporary Christian group MercyMeis one of my favorites. They continue to churn out significant, theology-rich music, as well as demonstrating over and over that they don't take themselves too seriously (you've got to watch this!). Lead singer Bart Millard is candid about his the power of God in his life and is always refreshingly honest and vulnerable. He even stayed in our house in Monticello, Arkansas one night when he used to help lead worship with Jami Smith.
Their new song, Even If is incredibly powerful. It speaks to how we long for God to work in our lives and what we do when He seemingly doesn't. Whether it's broken dreams, unmet expectations, health crises, relational difficulties, or simple discomfort, we can all find ourselves in a dark night of the soul.
What we do in those moments reveals what we truly believe. Sometimes, we simply must fetal. When we uncurl, however, it's time for faith. Through trust, we begin the long, slow journey back to worship.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.." (James 1.2)
Such a perspective is unearthly, in its literal sense. It is not of this world. It requires seeing what is beyond the temporal. Looking at hurts, fears, and doubts through a lens of belief that announcesthat not only God is (He exists), but that God is.. good.
Notice these two foundations in Hebrews 11.6:
"..whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists [God is] and that He rewards those who seek Him [God is good]."
The lyrics to Even If include:
I know You're able and I know You can Save through the fire with Your mighty hand But even if You don't My hope is You alone I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt Would all go away if You'd just say the word But even if You don't My hope is You alone
Being able to sing in sorrow is one of the first acts of rebellion against what should not be. It demonstrates knowledge that this world is broken because of sin and a better one awaits. It's just the "in the meantime" that, well, sucks.
I was reminded again last week of the words of three young men who faced a tyrant. Hedemanded that they worship him instead of their God. The penalty was death - by incineration. They refused to worship him and spoke these words:
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3.17-18)
It's hard to genuinely BELIEVE. Sometimes the night is mostdark and the trials mostdeep that they obscure our vision. It's insuch moments that God is most near. We may not see or sense Him, but He is there. It's the sweaty, relentless duty of our mind to recall and to remember His promises, by faith:
"My comfort in my suffering is this:Your promise preserves my life." (Psalm 119.50)
Fortunately, we have the Holy Spirit to help us remember. It's one of His chief assignments:
"..the Holy Spirit..will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." (John 14.26)
This may be one of your "in the meantime" seasons. We will all have them. I encourage you to allow the message of this song to wash over you and rekindle your submission and surrender to a God who is good. If you'd like to listen to why Bart wrote it after you watch it, here's a link to the testimony video.
My Top 10 Favorite MercyMe songs:
When I was reviewing albums of songs, I was shocked at just how many I loved and have become a staple in the Christian music culture. It was hard to pick 10:
2.Word of God Speak- I have always loved this ballad that begs for God's Word to speak into our everyday. It wasnamed Christian Song of the Decade by Billboard magazine in 2009.
5.Shake (this one is just plain.. fun)
6. Flawless- this song is just gospel. Refreshing and simple. If you've got time, listen to the story behind the song.
8. Silent Night - I know it's a Christmas song, but I love their rendition.
10. God With Us
Oh, and do a YouTube search for "MercyMe Cover Tune Grab Bag." You won't be sorry. You're welcome.