Saturday, December 1, 2007

When the Saints

When the Saints by Sara Groves
Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I cannot let it go
And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
Lord it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
but your word has compelled me when
I think of all who've gone before me and lived the faithful life
And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaoh's court
I hear his call of freedom for the people of the Lord
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in I want to be one of them
I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul
I see the young missionary and the end of the spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear
I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the lepers side
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door
I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load
My best friend Veronica told my via email that Sara Groves new CD is excellent. Sailing has made me tired and desiring to simply sit in my room and play on my laptop. I encountered this song while meandering through endless void that is the Internet.
I love reading the Old testament because it's not filled with stories, it's actual accounts of people who breathed the same air and have the same bone structure and need the same nourishment as you or I. They had fears and loves, strengths and weaknesses. They had success and failures, faith and doubts.
I wonder what it was like for Esther to go before the king knowing that she could lose her life for coming uninvited? What was it like for Ruth, whose husband had just died, to follow her mother in law, who was newly named Mara (bitter), to a land and culture foreign to her own? What was it like for Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the promises of God after 40 years of wondering, his mentor and leader dead, carrying a responsibility he probably didn't want or expect. How did Joseph keep from losing faith in God's promises after spending 14 years in slavery, prison, and disappointment, betrayed by his own brothers? How did Daniel stay pure in a licentious country after being stripped of his identity?
Hebrews 12:13 says
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
A desire for eternity woven through the fabric of our beings. It's an echo we can't silence, a song we can't sing, a vision we can't express, a thirst we can't quench, a realization in the midst of a beautiful moment that something is still horribly wrong. An acute dissatisfaction with the world we live in.
C.S. Lewis said this "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."
Our dissatisfaction in this world is caused by our yearning for another. Our frustration and disappointments are derived from our duplicities which cause us to strain as we try to hold on to the best of both worlds. Wanting treasure is heaven why we store up treasures on earth. Wanting the praise of men while desiring the humility of Christ. Reveling in self preservation while knowing we should be dying to ourselves. It's the bondage we place ourselves under.
But there is freedom in surrender.
Surrendering to God's hand. Trusting His will. Realizing that if we gain the whole world and have not love we still have nothing. Letting our plans be changed. Relinquishing our weakness and insecurity to the strength of God. Not living for man's expectations but walking humbly before the Lord. Having an eternal worldview.
I only get that for about five seconds a week, but it's a blissful five seconds.
Before Esther went to the king she said, "If I perish I perish." (Esther 4:16)
Ruth told her mother in law, "Whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die." (Ruth 1:16-17).
We chose what we value and from that will decide how we want to live our lives.
I don't really care about what I do or don't become. I don't need to accomplish much by the worlds standards. But I pray my soul would ever be bent on one day hearing the voice of the Lord say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant."
When the saints go marching in I want to be one of them.


Anonymous said...

That truly is the only goal I want to have, for myself and for my children (of course you being one of them) I love you Meg.

Anonymous said... hear those words that is...Well done thy good and faithful servant.

Anonymous said...

...these are words we all long to hear. My prayer is that all our unsaved relatives and friends would someday have the same desire to hear these words. You encourage my heart and give me much food for thought.
13 days and counting,

Love you so much and miss you,