Tag Archives: God’s Love

All I Ever Have To Be

21 Oct

On what should have been an hour and a half drive on a weekday afternoon, there was an accident on I-5 that made drive time turn into a 5 hour forced bonding time between myself and a work peer.  To pass the time while sitting there, we talked and after a couple of hours, started trying to entertain one another by playing various games we recalled from childhood family road trips.  My co-worker decided to play a game of “What’s your favorite?”, which led to her knowing much more about me than I would normally divulge to a colleague.  What’s your favorite color?  What’s your favorite movie?  What’s your favorite food?  What’s your favorite song?  I can’t answer that one!  I mean, there are so many, and it depends on what type of music, what mood I’m in, what memory its associated with, how do you pick one child over the other?!  The question actually stressed me out!

So, I say this with great hesitation, but if I had to pick a favorite song (which I’m still not going to commit to), the song “All I Ever Have To Be”, sung by Amy Grant and written by Gary Chapman would have to be on my short list.  This song was released in 1980, when I was still a young girl, however, I can clearly remember listening to the lyrics closely and the beautiful simple melody.  Even at the age of 8, this song resonated with me deeply.  Hard to explain it and I certainly did not realize the degree to which I would need to continue to be reminded of the words of this simple beauty throughout my life.

“All I Ever Have To Be”

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am – I think I amThen you gently re-remind me
That You’ve made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who You are
Who You are…And all I ever have to be is what You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You’ve made me

 

So dear one, if like me, you struggle with meeting the expectations of others or even more difficult, your own,  If you are tired of striving, If you feel more loved for what you do than who you are, then let me remind you as I remind myself.

  1. God made you, uniquely you on purpose, don’t try to be someone else.
  2. Give yourself some grace, we’re all unfinished.
  3. Never doubt for a minute, that even with your imperfections you are mind-blowingly loved.
  4. We don’t have to pull it off alone.  All the good is because of Him and He wants to handle our tough stuff too.
  5. Stop striving.  A good dose of rest in His love and grace, allows us to be who we were made to be.

Ahhhh, I feel better, how about you?

Be encouraged my friend!

 

 

 

 

The Love Of God

19 Feb

I’ve been spending a few days away at the ocean and as I sit here looking out at this breathtaking creation, I am reminded of a beautiful old hymn that remains in my mind from somewhere in the recesses of my childhood memory.  You know there is usually a story behind every good lyric and I love the story behind this timeless hymn.

It was 1917 and the author of this song was down on his luck having lost everything in a business venture gone wrong.  His current means of making income was working as a manual laborer in a California packing plant loading lemons and oranges in to crates day in and day out.  While packing the citrus fruit the words of this ageless love song began to drop into his heart and mind and when he got home he hurried to get them down on paper.  He sat at his piano and arranged the words with a melody that fit them just so.  However, he had only two verses and for a great hymn, you need at least three.  Who knew?! 

He struggled to complete the song, but nothing came to him…UNTIL…he remembered an old poem that someone had given him, which he hunted around for and found on a card that he had been using as a bookmark.  He was thrilled as he read and knew he had the completion of this God song in his hand. 

At the bottom of the card was a note that explained where the words were found.  They had been found written on a prisoner’s wall in a mental ward over 200 years before.  It is not known why the prisoner was incarcerated or if the words were original or he had heard them somewhere and decided to put them in a place where he could easily be reminded of the greatness of God’s love.  Whatever the circumstances, he wrote them on the wall of his prison cell, where they were found by the men who had the job of cleaning and repainting his cell after he had died.  These precious words were captured by those men before their paint brushes erased them.

Frederick M. Lehman went to his piano and put the words he had just found to the melody he had already written and they were a perfect fit!  That verse found on the wall of an insane asylum is now the third verse in the timeless hymn titled, “The Love of God” and it reads like this:

Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Tho stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure

The saints and angel’s song.

Looking at the ocean today reminds me of this beautiful song and the story behind it encourages me with these truths.

  • God shows up in our less than ideal situations, He speaks to us in the ordinary, in the mundane, in the less than ideal things we go through in life. 
  • God always has a plan, he writes our stories and connects them with others, in ways we can’t imagine and often times don’t even realize. 
  • God’s love is so powerful that it can reach a soul that is imprisoned, near death and battling for their sanity.  God’s love can break through the deepest, darkest pit! 

I am thankful for the awe-inspiring ocean that reminds me of the greatness and vastness of God’s amazing, mind-blowing love for you and I!

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