Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 CC Song of the Year

Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?

I don't know if you've ever 'done business' with the Lord.

But I have.

I grew up in a Christian home and accepted the Lord when I was six years old. I had been one of those hellions as a small child who made my mom cry everyday. And everyday, my dad would come home and send me to the spanking room. And everyday, he would spank me, pray with me, forgive me, and wipe it away. ("Wipe it away" was a practice my folks used after discipline in which they and I would swipe the back of our hands across our foreheads to signify it was not just forgiven; it was forgotten.)

One of those terrible days, God opened my eyes, and my dad prayed with me to accept Jesus.

To hear my parents tell the story, there was an immediate change.
No more daily visits to the spanking room.
No more heels-dug-in rebellion.
Instead, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was exlporing something new:

I had a great relationship with my parents, and I really did want to do the right thing now.
I didn't run away or run with the wrong crowd.
I was pretty good at submitting and doing what I was told.
But I was still a little spitfire.
Oh I wasn't blatantly rebelling anymore.
But I could out-passive/aggressive anyone on the planet.
And I was opinionated.
And I made my opinions known.
Like they were fact.
(Just ask my old headmaster, Mr. Smith.)

More years went by. And this little spitfire grew up to be a big spitfire.
(Just ask my husband or my in-laws.)
I had the idea that I knew all there was to know.
And that included God.

I guess I thought that I had figured you out.
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How you were mighty to save.

Let me repeat.
I thought I knew all there was to know about God.
"How could you be so foolish?" you might be asking.
And that would be a good question.
I grew up in the Church.
I was actively discipled by Christian parents.
I waited for a Christian man to marry and got my parents' blessing.
I started having children, whom we dedicated to the Lord.

Yeah. This girl was on the fast track to sainthood.

Then we moved to Texas.

That was an answer to prayer.
God had been growing our family in Florida, and we were bursting at the seams.
I stood in the garage one day and said aloud,
"God, do you see this? Are you going to do something about it?!"
I was indignant.
Certainly, we were doing God's work.
And God's work deserves God's blessings.

So the move to Texas was obviously God's answer to my prayers.
He was going to bless me with a big house
because He's in the blessing business
And I deserved it.

That was not what happened.
I'll spare you the boring details.
Suffice it to say, I did not get my big house.
I got an apartment.

Third floor.
Four kids all under the age of five.
Yeah, this was making a lot of sense.

And then the fateful day came.
God was not working out for me.
I was doing everything right,
And He was stuffing me in some lousy third floor apartment.
So I threw a shoe.
Not in the way a horse does.
No. I threw a shoe...
Across the room.
I yelled at God, "I'm done with You. I quit! You haven't done anything for me!"

I'd like to tell you I immediately clapped my hand over my mouth in instant repentance.
But that did not happen for a full twenty-four hours.
That's when God stepped in.
That's when I knew that I had done something horrible.
That's when I knew that I was a sinner, a worm,
Standing in the presence of a Holy God.

I had put God in a box.
I had been serving a God of my own creation.
He was sovereign...
when I allowed Him to be.
And I strongly encouraged Him to do what was good for me...
as long as He didn't dare do what was best for me.

I think I made You too small.
I never feared You at all.

Suddenly, though, I was confronted by the holiness of God.
I fell down on my face.
I don't know how long I lay on that apartment floor.
God let me stay there.
And in His mercy, He let me live.
But we did business down there, God and I.
I fell down a know-it-all princess.
I came back on my feet a humbled bondservant.

Where have I even stood but the shore along Your ocean?

The holiness of God.
It is utterly fearsome.
It shut my mouth
and opened my soul
to who God really is.

What do I know of holy?
What do any of us really know of holy?
What can we possibly know of holy this side of heaven?

The 2011 Carmel Conversations Song of the Year:
What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road

I know the song debuted in 2009, but I only heard it for the first time this year. And it will always remind me of that day when God showed me a glimpse of His holiness.

What do I know of holy?
Not much.
But I want to never stop learning.

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