Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Better than a Hallelujah

I am preparing to sing this song for church this coming Sunday. I have spent a fair amount of time not only working on the song, but thinking about the words. I had no idea until I looked at it on YouTube that there were people who believe this to be a totally unbiblical message. I disagree, and will share more after the song.

Why would a mother's tears, a drunkard's cry, a soldier's plea....why would any of these ever be better than a Hallelujah? It has to do with brokenness and surrender. I think that those things are better than a Hallelujah because they *are* a hallelujah. They are not a word of worship, they are an act of worship. I have been a Mama shedding tears in the night ~ have you? They were tears of fear, of acknowledgment of my inability to handle the situation, tears of pleading, and some of them have been tears of gratefulness and thanksgiving...all acts of worship.

"For though the Lord is high, He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar." Psalm 138:6

"Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished." Proverbs 16:5

"For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." Mark 7:21-23

I wonder what the stench of our self-sufficiency is to God's nostrils. We live in a society that takes pride in 'pulling one's self up by your bootstraps', and being a loner, and 'I can do it'. But it all smacks of just that...pride. Pride is something that God hates. He wants us to ackowledge and live like we can't do it without Him ~ 'cause guess what? We can't.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

I hear people say it all the time, and it is my most despised saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle." Really? Says who? And, what makes you think you can handle breathing? I think this is said in very well-intentioned ways, but I believe it is a lie straight from the mouth of Satan. I don't know about you, but I have been in many circumstances in my life that I couldn't handle. Moments before our 7th child and 5th son was born, God called him home to heaven. Trust me, I couldn't handle that. I can remember frantically pleading for his life, begging God not to require that of me. But He did. I have sat by my newborn's bedside, watching machines breath for him, and having to think about surgical options or "comfort care" to let him die. Trust me, I couldn't handle that. If I really believed that God wouldn't give me more than I could handle, I would have to conclude that God really doesn't know me (or care), or that I am an epic fail. However, God does give us more than we can handle. It is in those circumstances that we run to Him and rely fully on His strength to get us through. It is those times that bring us to a true and pure form of worship ~ recognizing that it is God alone. God alone who guides, God alone who saves, God alone who gives strength. It is all God.

"But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and He hears my voice." Psalm 55:16-17

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?" Psalm 56:3-4

"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" Psalm 56:8

God loves it when we run to Him and lay our burdens at His feet. He cares ~ someday you will forget the tears you cried, but God won't. He keeps an accounting of every tear. When we come before Him and admit that we are incapable of handling what we are walking through, He will rescue. Because it is in that admission and in turning to Him that we seek Him and His strength for the journey we are on.

God loves you, God wants to draw you nearer to Himself, God wants to be your strength ~ a very ready help in time of trouble ("God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1). And you admitting that you can't do it, that you need Him...well, I guess I don't know if it's better than a hallelujah, but I believe it *is* a hallelujah.