A song for the broken // Be Still

Hey Wesley! My name is Christian, and as crazy as it is to say, I will be a senior at SMU next year. My Wesley story started later than most; I came to two Wells (iykyk) my freshman year while I was still figuring out where I belonged, but second semester of my sophomore year was when I really and truly chose to dive in wholeheartedly to the ministry of the Wesley House. Ever since then, those of y’all that are reading this have been an inexpressible comfort and a huge joy to be around, whether that’s through retreats, the Table, Bible studies, or just vibing at the house. Wesley is full of and led by men and women who take their faith seriously through study of scripture, prayer, and biblical community, and at a stage of life when our faith becomes our own responsibility, I can’t put into words how valuable this community should be to us.

If you come to the Table, you’ve probably seen me sitting back in the tech booth staring at the soundboard WAY too intensely and looking like I’m not enjoying myself, but I promise you that it’s the one of the highlights of my week. I have the privilege of being the sound guy for worship, and before I get to the point of this post, I want y’all to know that I cannot tell y’all how inordinately blessed we are to have the musicians that we have leading us every week at the Table. Getting to watch them prepare for worship every week with intention and prayer is really and truly encouraging, because I know that it isn’t about the flawless sound or the performance for them; they desire to lead us to the Lord’s throne room, and no one that’s been to the Table can say they don’t succeed.

The song that I wanted to write about is one that’s not in Wesley‘s heavy rotation yet but it was my number two song on Spotify for 2019, so that has to count for something. It’s Be Still by Red Rocks Worship, and I’m going to make a vain attempt at doing it justice. I love songs like God of Revival or Hallelujah Here Below that are best enjoyed in a car with amazing surround speakers turned all the way up (shout out to Connor’s new whip), but Be Still is a song that speaks to me most in the quiet and in the stillness. It’s a song that I’ve played countless times lying in my bed while I wrestle with anxiety about the future, discouragement, or when I just can’t clearly see where God’s hand is in my life. Occasionally it’s been external situations that drive me to this song, but more often than not, the area of my life that this song’s truth addresses is my personal struggle with facing my own brokenness. I think at least ten times a day, “What in the world would God want with me? How am I supposed to say I’m a Christian when I’m the broken man that I am?” But every time, these words remind me of the prevailing reality that gives hope to those that profess faith in Christ: our brokenness has no power to separate us from His love and grace. Even though we can bring nothing to Him, He still chooses to come to us.

Slowly read the first verse going into the chorus:

Remind me, Lord, lest I forget

Who You are and who You have been

A mighty God, perfect in peace

My champion, all that I need

I will wait for you

Any anxiety, fear, or feelings of unworthiness I’ve ever had always melt away slowly, quietly, steadily, and peacefully when I listen to those words. What place does my fear have when I’m reminded that my champion, my helper and strong tower, is the same God who has proven himself to his people time and time again and who pursues them unceasingly? He is the God who guided his people through the wilderness with a column of fire, who brought down the walls of Jericho before them, and who turned the widow’s need into plenty. We can see this sentiment, of God drawing near to His people through adversity, very clearly in Lamentations 3. When faced with Jerusalem’s destruction, the author says “My soul continually remembers [my affliction] and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. . . The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks him.

If I was writing Lamentations and had just witnessed the destruction of my home city, waiting peacefully would honestly be the last thing on my mind. But when we sing the second verse, we’re reminded again of why we wait. 

Who can hold the wind in His hands,

The shorelines drawn to where He has planned?

Jesus Christ, the name above all

Will hear my cry whenever I call

Songs like this that describe God’s power are always so amazing to me because they remind me of the reality of our relationship with Him. The One who shaped the mountains, placed the stars in the heavens, and divided the Red Sea in two is the same One who defends us and comforts us. Is that not such an overwhelmingly encouraging reality? The God who created the universe hears my cry whenever I call.

With this in mind, the simple chorus of the song is like a strong river washing away our doubt and fear. 

I will wait for you

I will wait for you

Holy Spirit, come renew all of my strength

Waiting on the Lord is not passivity or inaction; it’s the farthest thing from it. When we are faced with doubt and fear, waiting on the Lord is faith, faith in the prevailing reality that God is in full knowledge of our both our struggles and our failings and still chooses to listen to us and to fight for us. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” When we choose stillness and peace to wait on the Lord in the face of struggle, we acknowledge two things: we know that we don’t have the strength to overcome, and we trust that God will draw near to us and see us through. And in our stillness and waiting, the Holy Spirit will renew our strength. God doesn’t leave us alone in our struggles; he refreshes us and comforts us through His spirit.

I hope you can see why I called this “A song for the broken.” When my doubt and fear threaten to overwhelm, the idea that God will draw near to me and the He will hear me whenever I call Him shatter the lies of the enemy that I am alone and that I am not good enough. It’s true, I am not and never will be good enough. But that didn’t stop Jesus from going to the cross for me, and that does not stop Him from comforting me, fighting for me, and interceding for me. This song is a beautiful reminder to a broken person like me that, like Corrie ten Boom said, there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still. 

Love and miss y’all! At the risk of me talking your ear off, hit me up if you want to talk worship!

Christian

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