Sunday, March 17, 2013

In the Middle of a Song

We stood singing “Because He Lives” in church this morning.   Having moved back to rural Indiana from the “Live Music Capital of the World” (Austin, TX), I have to admit that sometimes I miss worshiping to the latest music from David Crowder, or Gungor, or any of a number of more modern worship bands.  But this morning, as I sang along to the 70’s song by the Gaithers, my heart stopped when we came to the second verse.  I suddenly flashed on the last time I remember singing the words:  I was singing through tears; struggling to choke back the sobs and surrender to faith.  It was only a year ago.  At the time, my heart was breaking for choices that my daughter was making.  It was a time in her life where I as a parent just had to stand back, pray, and... watch.  God was telling me to trust – to stand back and let Him handle it.  It’s so hard when it’s your little girl headed for disaster.  And yet…  I heard Him.  And so, when I came to the second verse that day, the words were very real to me:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

I choked back sobs as I sang those words that morning:  cries of heartbreak for where I knew my daughter was heading… and cries of hope as I listened to my Daddy assure me that I could trust Him to hold her.

So this morning… as we approached the 2nd verse…  I suddenly remembered those moments… singing a year ago with chest heaving and throat tightening -- a strange mix of heartbreak, surrender, trust and faith.  And…  I smiled… because I’d nearly forgotten that moment… because today we are in a much different place.  Oh, the church still looks the same – the same stained glass windows along the side… the same cross up front… pretty much the same worship team standing in front of us.  But today… my daughter is home.  Not in the physical sense.  In the physical sense, she’s actually in a van loaded with our church Bible Quiz team on their way back from a quiz in Pennsylvania.  But her heart is home.  The robe has been thrown around her shoulders, the ring placed on her finger. Our prodigal is home!  That dark place is a piece of her past.  He holds her future.  And we have seen the proof that she can face uncertain days… because… He Lives!  I’m so thankful for the unexpected reminder… for the glimpse of where we were then and where we are now… in the middle of a song.