Hold Me Jesus

There were a couple of odd twists in the daily walk with dog friend Hannah. The first odd occurrence was the absence of squirrels in the park. That is the second straight day that Hannah has not enjoyed a good rodent chase. Perhaps the ESWS (Early Squirrel Warning System) is now operational. The other odd occurrence was that the same song came up twice on the random shuffle feature of my iPod. The song does occur twice on my iPod but there are 917 songs and the shuffle selected both occurrences of that song in one thirty minute period. Does God’s sovereignty extend to the shuffle feature on MP3 devices?

Fortunately the song was one of my favorites tunes and it was from one of my favorite composer/singers. Rich Mullins released the song in 1993.

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

Right now I am in a pretty good place in my life and journey with Jesus. But then I started thinking about the many friends and loved ones who could relate completely to those lyrics right now. And I can certainly remember seasons of my life when those words accurately reflected the condition of my soul.

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

And I remember how I used to respond. I would deduce it was my fault and I would decide that I had to do something to bolster my faith. I had to read more verses or do a study or pray more or believe more. But the answer was far more simple. The answer was summed up in the chorus by Rich Mullins.

So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

Hold me Jesus. Won’t you be my Prince of Peace? I still pray for those family and friends. God knows my heart for them. But many times in recent months I only have one prayer as I walk.

“God…would you love me today?”

And He does. But I remember how I used to think that I had to “do stuff” for God to earn His favor and receive His love and peace. I was listening to the Romans TrueFaced Bible Study the other day. For those of us “doers” who absolutely must do something teacher John Lynch outlined three things that God says you can do.

1. Believe me and trust my life in you
2. Let me draw close to you and love you
3. Let me love others through you.

That’s it. I have made it so stinkin’ complicated and religious for so many years. When I do those 3 things I find myself humbled. I worship. It causes to submit and sin less a want to obey from my heart.

Why did I fight this amazing grace and His unconditional love. Rich Mullins nailed that too.

Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

That was me. Hanging on to the familiar malaise of self-effort instead of surrendering and accepting grace and freedom. Rich Mullins is now with the King of glory and the Prince of Peace but his ministry continues around the world and around the park today. Next time you are flailing and striving to please God why not try that little prayer.

“God…would you love me today?”

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  (Matthew 11, The Message)