This week’s song has been one that has influenced and comforted me greatly over the last 15 years, and I hope and pray it might minister to you wherever you are this week.
Last week we had a look at the Beatitudes, and how we can unwittingly live by quite a different set of expectations and ideals that lead us away from trusting dependence on the Father. We can be driven by our need to feel in control, to appear perfect, or to “have it all together”. Over many years, God has graciously continued to allow this tendency in myself to smash up against life’s realities, trying to rescue me from that ingrained habit of self-reliance. It’s interesting that the writer Paul Young used the word ‘independence’ to describe the essence of sin, in the context of how we relate to God. That’s worth giving some thought to.
“Blessed are the poor in Spirit for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matt 5:3). Other translations explain the phrase by using words like “those who only depend on Him”, “those who are poor and know their need for Him”, “the spiritually destitute”, or those who “recognise that they are spiritually helpless”. Jesus illustrated this truth by pointing to a little child and telling us that we needed to come to the Kingdom just like a child. The psalmist also contributes some deeper imagery, in psalm 131. I memorised it a while back, in the Good News translation:
Lord, I have given up my pride
and turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
so my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
now and forever!
Sometimes all we can do is rest ourselves in the grace of God – mentally, emotionally, even with a physical action (like opening our hands, or writing out our burdens as an act of hand-over). He is the only one who can carry this world’s burdens. He is the one who knows our deepest hearts, and is unfailing in His loving commitment to us. Sometimes we can’t understand Him, we can’t understand our lives, and the pain that we or our friends are carrying seems overwhelming. In that time, the choice is still ours’ – to ‘soldier on’, or to rest ourselves and our burdens in the hands of the only one who can bring light into the darkness.
May you know His grace and care for you this week, here’s the song: The More I Know