It was the 70’s. Top musical artists included Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, James Taylor, Carole King, and The Eagles. John, Paul, George, and Ringo had split up by then to pursue separate careers. (If you don’t know those four names, please don’t tell me.)
My friend and I sang along with all of those artists on a daily basis. However, on this particular Saturday at a church youth rally, we sat mesmerized by an acappella singing group – think Pentatonix. The handsome lead singer caught our attention, but the song they sang captivated our hearts. Maybe we had sung it at church. Maybe I had heard it before. Without a doubt, I’d never heard it quite like that. Something about that song stayed with me forever.
A few years later, our new youth minister shaped and molded all of us teenagers into a rag tag little singing group that had way too much fun traveling around and performing for other churches. I call us rag tag because I was in it. I can’t sing a single note on pitch, but I do love to sing! Every time we performed this song, the audience became as captivated by the song as we had been at the youth rally.
Yesterday morning, this same soft, prayerful song played in my ears as I walked the trail by the lake. After hearing the first two words, I traveled back in time to that youth rally and smiled right out loud. 🙂 This particular version was a medley by Selah. The soft prayer had been coupled with another song, one with a fervent, up-tempo melody.
I couldn’t help but compare the two contrasting beats with the way our lives sometimes roll. Though we all come into this world wired a bit differently, we all begin as helpless little babies who must travel through our own mountains and valleys. We maneuver the twists and turns that come our way. Like the runners I encountered on the trail, we begin full of hope and energy. However, if we lose our focus, our upturned smiles gradually straight-line. Our pace slows as our temperature grows. Our trek becomes sweaty work.
That’s when we cry out, “Precious Lord, take my hand. Lead me on. Help me stand. I am tired. I am weak. I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to your light. Take my hand, Precious Lord, and lead me home. When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near. When my life is almost gone, hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall. Take my hand, Precious Lord, lead me home.”
Could that be your prayer right now? Have you hit the wall and run out of hope and energy? I once tried to motivate myself. I thought if I could just work a little harder, do a little more, and fake it ‘til I make it I might find a peaceful place for my soul to rest and take a well-deserved break.
It didn’t work.
When I met Jesus face-to-face, took His hand, and allowed Him to love me just like I was, I found my rest. His love lingers no matter what. His love motivates, protects, and will ultimately lead us home.
I finally turned up the tempo of my heart’s song and learned that just a closer walker with Jesus had been what I needed all along. He heard my plea and kept me from all harm. I know I will be satisfied as long as I continue to walk with Him. Then when my feeble life is over, time for me here on this earth will be no more. He’ll guide me gently, safely home to His kingdom shore – on His timetable, and not mine.
If you feel like giving up, don’t. Just take a closer walk with Jesus. Get to know Him better by reading the New Testament. Talk to Him like you would a friend. Close relationships form out of a slow and intentional process. Read through the New Testament as many times as it takes to become best friends with Jesus – and then, keep reading some more. Read all of it! (Here’s a link to the plan I use every morning: https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/bible)
I feel sure you and I want nothing more than to finish strong. We want the crescendo and the piano trill at the end. We’re getting closer every day, so make today a good day!
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be!
“I will bless the Lord who counsels me — even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely.”Psalm 16:7-9, CSB
Please don’t skip the song. You just might be singing it the rest of the day – or forever.