As you’ve probably heard, my family likes to sing. It really doesn’t matter what the song is or if it even makes any sense. If it can be sung, you will hear it ringing through our halls, kitchen and bedrooms. In our singing, we often take lyrics that have meaning (or at least a semblance of meaning) and substitute nonsense for them. For example, do you know what an “Up Town Puppy-Pup” is? Neither do we! We just know that it is a whole lot safer for that phrase to come out of the mouth of a four year old than the phrase “Up Town Funk You Up.”
There is however, one genre, where singing is different: worship. With worship, I can’t sing just anything. I have to mean it. You see worship is an intimate conversation with God. He knows my heart, and I feel compelled to be honest in the words that I sing. At times, I choose to remain silent during songs because I can’t commit to what is being said. Sometimes this is for theological reasons, and sometimes it is for emotional reasons. That is why the song Faithful by Sarah Reeves has been such a struggle.
It is easy to find biblical truth to support what the song says in the verses and chorus. It begins “Even when I cannot see you are moving” - In Isaiah 43:19 we read, ”Behold, I am doing a new thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” The chorus of the song sings, “You are faithful, always faithful” - In the book of Exodus alone we see over and over the faithfulness of God to the Israelites. The parable of the prodigal son nearly shouts “Even when I run away, you will wait for me to come back home.” And yet, when I come to sing the bridge, all of my belief comes to a standstill, and I have to consider if I can really sing the next line: “Everything I wanted, everything I needed is found in You God.”
Do I believe that?
I think of the broken plans for my life that lay buried so deeply beneath the weight of daily necessity that I wonder if they ever had any hope of fulfillment. I think of the relationships I fervently desire to be whole, but in moments of honesty, know are unlikely to ever become what I hope for them. I feel the sting of rejection suffered over and over, often at the hands of God’s own people. I think of these things and then I wonder: “Is everything I want really found in You God?”
How can I sing these words that I don’t know to be true? I’ll be honest, I couldn’t. At least not at first. I wrestled with this song, but the words worked in me as I considered them.
“Everything I wanted” – what is it that I really want? Is it the hopes and plans that I buried so long ago or is it the peace and purpose that they represent? Is it the mending of broken relationships or is it the love that they represent? Is it being welcomed by God’s people or is it the acceptance that welcoming represents?
When I move past the want to the underlying needs, I come to realize that what I need is to be loved, to have a purpose and to find acceptance for who I am, just as I am.
It is only when I see my needs that I see, yes - truly, everything I need is found in God.
“He knit me together and formed my inward parts” (Psalm 139:13). If He made me, surely He made me according to His will and welcomes me for who I am. I do not need to mourn my broken dreams because Proverbs 19:21 says: “the plans of man are many, but the purpose of the Lord will stand.” What are my plans in the shadow of God’s purpose? Above all is my need to be loved. Can I believe in the King’s love? Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9). Can I do that? Can I live in, rest in and own that love in a way that makes all other relationships pale in comparison? This love speaks to my need, not just my want. God meets us in our needs even when He does not meet us in our wants. It is because of this that you will find me singing: “Everything I needed is found in You God.”
I pray that you too find Him in your needs. But if you don’t, I encourage you to pause. You don’t have to sing. Reflect on the words and what they mean for you. Wrestle with the lyrics. Go to scripture. Talk to your Life Group or to your pastor. It is worth the effort to be able to meet God in the midst of your deepest needs and know that He is there.