Apparently, I needed tonight.
Tonight several of us (us meaning Elevators) had planned on going to Charlotte ONE because Steve Fee would be leading the worship time. Well, turns out three of us ended up going and met up with several others at the Methodist church uptown. On to the real story…
Steve and me… Me and Steve… God is just awesome at plopping you right in the place you need to be with the people you need to be with and the people you need to hear from. As you can guess, Steve Fee was that person. As God would have it (not fate, mind you), Steve also is having car issues! His bus died today. Funny… I know a person whose red subaru keeps trying to kick the bucket… Oh wait! That would be me!! So me and Steve share something there. It’s quite a special bond, I think.
In all seriousness, it was refreshing to hear and see someone living out what I have in my heart and keep TRYING to do. He kept harping back on “Did I mention my bus died?” which I do constantly with my car. I keep thinking about it. But…he also gave it up. And I think I’ve resigned myself to giving it up. Steve Fee is quite the impressive speaker as well as a phenomenal worship leader (I am incredibly impressed with his pipes particularly now after seeing him in action). He’s very real yet eloquent and passionate. He talked about just giving it up to the sovereign Lord who has control over everything. I need to remember that and it was good to hear someone say that. He talked about how good it felt to just leave that outside and to come into the Lord’s presence and breathe a sigh of relief. I think I took that as my signal to do so and I got so much out of tonight. Two things in particular stick with me and of course they are related to the songs…
Based on how I was feeling before going to this event tonight (which was almost not wanting to go because I was feeling so down about everything) and then experiencing it, I think I went through a process of liberation. This unfolded through two songs specifically. When we sang “Never Let Go” (which mens a lot to me anyway) I felt a burden being lifted. The chorus and the bridge (at least I think that’s what this part is…) spoke volumes to me tonight…
Oh no You never let go through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go and every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go, Lord, You never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
and there will be an end to the struggles
but until that day comes
STILL I WILL PRAISE YOU
STILL I WILL PRAISE YOU
As we were singing this song I found myself getting louder and louder and feeling more and more free of a burden. Now the end of that part of the song…”still I will praise you” was the second part of my liberating process of letting go.
All night Steve had been going back to one word. Glory. Over and over we sang these four simple words…
Glory to God
Glory to God
Glory to God
Now having grown up in church and knowing that He IS God, saying “glory to God” isn’t anything new or shocking or earth shaking for me. It became so when Steve explained what he meant to communicate through the song. Everything I had, am and do is thanks to God. Steve gave example after example and put the phrase “glory to God” after it every time. It really helped illustrate and reinforce what he truly meant with those words and why he wrote the song. By the way, those few words are part of a different song (the title of which I can’t recall at the moment), however they are powerful in and of themselves apart from the rest. I feel like I need a whole entry in that manner that would force me to find things even on the toughest day that are all because of God and His glory. As we sang the song, each time we said “glory to God” I kept trying to think of something in my life that God deserves glory for.
I have a roof over my head. Glory to God. I have a car that still at least runs and keeps me safe for now. Glory to God. I have a wonderful church. Glory to God. I have made some incredible friends in Charlotte. Glory to God. I have a fantastic family. Glory to God. I’m healthy. Glory to God.
It could go on and on. I feel like this whole thing for me tonight could be summarized like so…
Part I (through the song “Never Let Go”) – Admit I can’t do it myself and realize God never let me go and I should still have a thankful and faithful spirit.
Part II – Force myself to remember and be thankful for what I do have (ie. not letting what is presently showing up as a burden take over every corner of my life and make me forget all that I do have).
It was as if I had to do the first to be able to get to the second. I needed to remember that God is still with me even when I feel like I’m in a desperate situation and I also needed to be forced to still give thanks. Of course I say “forced” and don’t really mean I was forced to thank God for something. That shouldn’t be the case. What I mean is that I was put in a place where I heard something I needed to hear and because of that I forced myself to remember all that God has done for me. I know when I get bent on a situation (particularly cars) that it can be hard for me to remember to be thankful and know that simply having a car is because of God.
I’m glad I went tonight. I’m sure Steve and I will be tight from now on too…all those car issues that unite us.
As a random side note, we also sang a song I haven’t heard or sung in a loooooooooooong time. It was good to hear it though. It’s called “Madly”. I always loved the part of the song that said “Let what we do in here fill the streets out there”. Now that song makes me think of Elevation and all that we are trying to do in the city of Charlotte. Good stuff.
Alright. The end. No more rambling, dear readers. And I hope you noted the sickeningly sweet sarcasm in parts of this post. If not, you must think I’m delusional. Who knows? Maybe I am.