Monday, May 21, 2012

Then Sings My Soul!

One of my most cherished memories is of a Sunday service in the teeny tiny 3-car-garage-turned sanctuary of my Dad's first church. We had only been home from my grandfather's funeral services and family time for a week or so but we were all still very tender and bruised over our incredible loss. For the first time in my life, I was dealing with real grief, the permanency of loss, and the awareness that while this was hard for me to grapple with, it was THAT MUCH harder for my dad to process through. He was very close to his dad and enjoyed a very loving, connected relationship with his father. It's one of the first times that I remember being so keenly aware that my dad was in a kind of pain and sadness that wouldn't just "go away" with a sweet card or a sunny day. That my dad had to deal with our collective pain on top of and connected to his own grief.  It was a profound week or two for me, coming to terms with watching his sadness and realizing that my pain was joined to someone else's pain.

On that Sunday morning so long ago, I was full of all kinds of heightened emotions and struggling to connect with the worship time. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I see my dad's arms go up wide and outstretched. Tears were flowing freely down his face and he was singing through his brokenness:

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

I will never forget that picture, as long as I live. To this day, when that song comes up on my iPod rotation or across the airwaves of our local Christian music station, I am instantly transported to that moment. When we stand in church singing these words in our own worship service, I am arrested and can barely sing through my own tears.

I've mentioned before that The Boss and I are in a bit of a tough season right now. Looking for a new career position. Waiting for Brynna's adoption process to come to fruition. Anticipating Shaggy's graduation in less than a month. Trusting HIM for finances for the adoption and for Shaggy's future plans. Walking through lots of new stages with the other kids that aren't bad but are certainly very new. Tough stuff that has had the tendency these last few weeks to distract me and weigh me down.

So yesterday, when our worship team began this song, I knew God was speaking to me.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

In the peaceful beauty of a starry still night, He is greater.
In the roar of life's greatest storms, He is greater.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

In my desperate state of heavy burden and ugly sin, He was great.
He is greater.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

In my earthly struggle, bound by the circumstances of my human condition, He is great.
This is all real life stuff. But this is NOT my home.
And He is greater.

I'm so everlastingly grateful for the example of my Dad, for the chance to watch him walk through that great pain and, later as I grew, other painful difficult circumstances. Difficulties that would have broken a lesser man. Grief and hardship that would have distracted a less-intentioned man from the Truth. Instead, my dad let those circumstances drive him into the Truth. In my view, that song is my dad's lifesong.

In these hard times, during these stretching moments which I freely admit are NOTHING to contend with when compared to the pain I've seen my parents walk through in this life, I am choosing for it to be my lifesong also.

I'm lifting my eyes above the job loss. Above the uncertainty. Above the long wait to see my daughter's face. Above changes I know are coming to our home as Shaggy enters adulthood. Above the tensions and stresses of the everyday-ness of a busy life. Above the weariness and the frustration. Above the circumstances. 

I'm choosing to lift my eyes and sing to the heavens, arms up wide and outstretched.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


Melissa Renno said...

I SO needed to read this this morning. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of faith. You rock!

Aus said...

Beatuiful words here GM - so glad you have those memories of your Dad too! Tho my dad has been gone some 40+ years now I still have some "smokey" memories that I hold dear - and even write him a letter from time to time just so he knows I care!

You will find that peace - and for our part -we'll continue to hold you close in heart and prayers!

hugs - aus and co.