Have you heard this song by Matt Redman? The lyrics and melody lend themselves to such honest petition and praise to the Lord. It's a great one.
Here are a few of the lyrics:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I worship Your holy name.
The sun comes up,
It's a new day dawning,
It's time to sing Your song again,
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.
Pretty powerful, wouldn't you say? And last weekend I had the opportunity to sing that song surrounded by thousands of fellow worshippers led by Matt Redman himself. It was pretty spectacular.
There is one line that says, "on that day when my strength is failing". I'm not sure about you, but I've definitely been there. And a few lines after that one comes the chorus once again, "Bless the Lord, O my soul ... worship His holy name."
When my strength is failing ... bless the Lord?
When the day starts out good but ends up messy ... bless the Lord?
When the road you thought was leading you to your dreams ends unexpectedly ... bless the Lord?
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me ... bless the Lord?
How? How is that possible? How can a broken soul bless the Lord in the midst of its brokenness?
These very questions were going through my mind as I sang these words out, tears freely flowing down my cheeks.
How is it that I can bless the Lord even after anticipating the death of my baby daughter for four months and then having her suffocate to death in my arms? How?
Because, friends, even on that day when my strength is failing, His remains strong.
Because when the good day ends up messy, He saw it and He knows. And you can run to Him and lay your concerns boldly before His throne in full expectation of receiving the grace that will get you through.
Because when the road ends unexpectedly, you can rest assured that the sovereign Author of the universe wasn't surprised and has a path prepared for you much greater than any you could have imagined. It might not be easy, but He has a plan - a good one.
Because whatever may pass and whatever lies before you, He surrounds, behind and before.
My soul can bless the Lord because, no matter my circumstance, He is faithful. He has always been faithful to live up to His word to never leave, never forsake, and provide all the grace necessary. And the times I've doubted? Well, those times I led myself to believe something God never said. The Lord never said I wouldn't go through difficulties. Quite the opposite, actually. He said I absolutely will have difficulties. But He has forever overcome ... (John 16:33).
Bless the Lord, O my soul and worship His holy name. Remember His faithfulness, remember His mercy. Remember being held by His righteous right hand. Remember His goodness and realize that, because of who He is, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, I can still be singing when the evening comes.