On Being Moved

Until this week, if I woke up before my alarm went off, I would just lay there and drift in and out of sleep until I was out of time.

Today, I woke up an hour early, and instead of wishing for more sleep, I was thankful for the extra time to write and explore some thoughts.  But, when I sat down at a keyboard to put those thoughts to words, I struggled.  That thought was not yet fully formed.  It is important, so I’ll get back to it later.

Once I’d resigned myself to putting that thought on the back burner to simmer, I decided to come to work early. My morning routine only takes about fifteen minutes (there’s a lot of preparation the night before), and after that I hit the road.

Then I became inspired.  Honestly, deeply inspired. I stepped outside to a light drizzle, and I felt gratitude for the cool, cleansing rain. I started my car, and my radio said “Bluetooth audio,” so I obliged by selecting my favorite song of the moment, Third Day’s “Soul on Fire.” I’ve played that song many times over the course of this week; I like how it sounds, and it lifts my heart.  Today was different, though.  Today on the way to work marked the first time I’ve ever sung that song out loud. In truth, it marked the first time I can remember singing a song of worship by myself in earnest. The lyrics are simple, but true.  They are a proclamation of intent, but also a request.

God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
‘Til I am a soul on fire
Lord, I’m longing for Your ways
I’m waiting for the day
When I am a soul on fire
‘Til I am a soul on fire

Lord, restore the joy I had
And I have wandered, bring me back
In this darkness, lead me through
Until all I see is You, yeah
(Tai Anderson / Brenton Brown / David Carr / Mark Lee / Matt Maher / Mac Powell)

I’ve written previously that I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s touch before, when singing a sacred hymn or song of worship in a choir. The moment had to be right, and a chord and lyric had to strike me in the right way.  This was different.  It’s a good rock song, to be sure; it’s got a great sound.  But what happened to me on the way to work cannot simply be explained by saying that I enjoy the song.

Because today, that song cracked my heart wide open.  The first tear that rolled down my cheek surprised me.  The chill that spilled over my skin lit me up. In the span of thirty seconds, I turned into a puddle. Relief and inspiration washed over me. I was rejoiceful and grateful in a way that I’ve heard other people describe, but can’t remember ever feeling. I cried tears of joy for miles.

What was holding me back from feeling this joy before? Myself, and myself alone. I arrogantly considered it to be false, or silly. I thought that seeking such feelings was unnecessary to my life. The only word that adequately describes my previous self is “stupid.”

The moment the first tear fell, I knew that the lyrics had inspired me to seek God truly in my heart, and that singing them with my voice and heart had given me the humility needed to break my last shield of doubt and mistrust. The relief I feel this morning is my load being lightened. It is also the relief of knowing that I am actually capable of practicing faith. One of my great fears, and one of the things that had been holding me back from truly accepting God’s presence in my life, was a nagging dread that I might be incapable of giving myself over. Today, that fear is extinguished. I am delighted!

Verse of the morning:  James 4:6 Prov. 3:34

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Prayer of the morning: Father above us, Father among us, Father in our hearts, today is a day of blessings. I am humbled by grace, and grateful for the feeling of joy You have poured into me.  Thank you.

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