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“Even If” by MercyMe

“Even If” by MercyMe

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may

‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Bart Millard / Ben Glover / Crystal Lewis / David Garcia / Tim Timmons

Dear God, I thought about just titling this prayer journal entry “Apology.” I owe you an apology. Now, I know that goes without saying. There is so much I do wrong. I can sin with the best of them, and I am, indeed, sorry for those things. But this is different. I’m not sure I’ve ever apologized to you for thinking you were unfaithful to me or your word.

My wife and I went through some trials a few years ago, and I remember telling friends, “I knew that when I became a Christian that I wouldn’t be protected from suffering, but in praying for my children and loved ones, I thought there would be some amount of protection.” One friend responded to me that I was disappointed in you. Yes, I thought. That’s it. I’m disappointed.

Well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for ever being disappointed in the God of the universe. I’m sorry for ever thinking that I deserve better than I’m getting.

The song above, “Even If,” is a good song. It’s one of those that really works in a church setting. It says all of the right things. I can picture myself standing in a church with this song on the overhead and singing along–and even meaning it. But it’s the story that the lead singer tells in the video I’ve attached that helped me see that I owe you an apology.

The other thing that helped me see it was some of the stuff I’m been doing with Naomi and Ruth chapter 1 lately. One thought that occurred to me is that Naomi owes you an apology for trying to rename herself Mara. You were there the whole time. You were making a way, not only for her, but also all of Israel. You hadn’t made her life bitter. It just didn’t look how she thought she deserved it to…ohhhhhh. That’s me. I guess I owe you an apology too.

Father, I am sorry. I know you are able to do anything. I know you can change any life circumstance at your own will. But even if you don’t, my hope is in you alone. I choose to instead tell you thank you for loving me. I choose to let go of my selfishness and what I think I deserve to simply say, “It is well with my soul.”

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2020 in Hymns and Songs

 

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“Even If” by MercyMe

“Even If” by MercyMe

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now

But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Songwriters: Bart Millard / Ben Glover / Crystal Lewis / David Garcia / Tim Timmons

Dear God, this song hits me on a few levels. Let’s just dive in. There’s obviously the part of a person struggling with life and trying to lean into you for comfort and provision. But then it starts with the aspect of the singer being a public minister who, to some extent, is putting on a show for people and trying to tell them to trust you while simultaneously experiencing his own doubts:

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

A few years ago, I was asked to preach for a friend at the local Episcopal church. What made it complicated was that my own family was going through a terrible time and I didn’t feel like I had a legitimate right to tell anyone how to live their life. I remember struggling with that and actually referencing it during the sermon.

On the other hand, the worst sermon I ever heard was a man who got up on Father’s Day in 2014 and talked about every good and correct thing he had done as a father and how great his kids had turned out. I cannot imagine that that sermon did anyone in the audience any good other than perhaps some young parents with infants who were looking for good parenting tips. I suspect that a lot of the rest of us were feeling condemned.

So I can appreciate the fact that this song puts it all on the table, and in a way that doesn’t share too much personally but helps the band communicate to the audience that there is this struggle in their own lives. It’s a little like Facebook and only seeing others’ best parts of their lives. It’s not appropriate for me to put a lot of personal information about me or family members on that platform, but it is important to somehow communicate to others that my life is as challenging as theirs is. That’s how we bless others and we all grow. That’s how we sharpen each other.

Then there is the other part of this song. The struggle. And I see two aspects of what it’s communicating. The first is the chorus when it basically says that sometimes the struggle is part of the intended journey.

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

There was a song by Scott Krippayne back in the 90s called “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” that meant a lot to me. The chorus said, “Sometimes he calms the storm with a whispered, ‘Peace be still.’ He can settle any sea, but it doesn’t mean he will. Sometimes he holds us close as the wind and waves go wild. Sometimes he calms the storm, but other times he calms his child.” Same thing. Sometimes, the storm is part of the journey. Paul had to go through prison. Jesus had to go through the 40 days of fasting and then the temptation. As I look back, I am certainly a better man and more useful to you because of the experiences.

Finally, there’s the part about feeling like my faith in you just isn’t adequate. Do I really believe?

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now

I cannot count the number of times I’ve prayed to you, “Father, I believe. Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:21-24). I wish my faith was greater. I really do. Thank you for loving me anyway.

Father, as I close this prayer, I guess I have three things I want to say. First, thank you for everything–the good and the bad. I know that you don’t necessarily cause the bad things to happen, but I am certain that you are my shepherd through them. Second, I promise to be as transparent as possible for the strengthening of not only my own soul, but so that the pain and struggle will not return void and others can be comforted or encouraged by me. And third, I promise to bring all of my faith to the table. I won’t leave anything back as I worship you and believe, not necessarily that you will calm my storm, but that you will use whatever I experience for your glory if I sacrifice it to you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2019 in Hymns and Songs, Mark

 

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“I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe

I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by You glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the Son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine hey ya ah

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine hey ya ah
I can only imagine yeah yeah
I can only imagine
I can only imagine ey ey ey
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine

Written by Bart Marshall Millard

 

Dear God, I was really having a hard time finding a scripture to spend some time with this morning, so I finally decided to see if I could just find a song and spend some time with it, both worshiping you and thinking about a piece of you perhaps a little differently because of what an artist/poet wrote down and shared.

This last weekend, at a retreat my wife and I attended for other couples, we watched a movie that was loosely based on how this song came to be. It took me back to the first time I remember hearing this song. I think it was the fall of 2001 and I was at church. We sang it, and it overwhelmed me. The idea of actually being in your presence and having zero idea of how I would respond to you. Will I stand? Will I fall? Will I sing? Will I dance? Will I be able to even move? My guess is that I would collapse with the revelation of how much greater you are than I could ever have imagined. I think I would wish I had never existed, collapse into a ball and then hide my face. And my faith gives me the hope that you would grab me, hug me in some celestial way, and tell me it’s okay, be not afraid.

Then there is the idea of seeing those who have gone before me. My daughter lost during pregnancy. My grandparents. My friends. My mother-in-law. I can only imagine what that will be like.

Father, thank you for this hope. Honestly, I don’t do what I do for this. I don’t pray to you today with Heaven as my motivation. It’s about relationship with you now and becoming the man you want me to be, need me to be, and know I can be. It’s about knowing you so well that your Spirit lives through me. Heaven is great, and it will be what happens for the vast majority of my existence, but for now my eyes are fixed on my time here on Earth. Walk with me this day.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2019 in Hymns and Songs

 

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