To This Rock

"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

That has to be one of the most annoying clichés ever.

And by far the most annoying thing about it is that it’s true.

Really true.

I want you to do a little exercise right now to illustrate just how true it is.

Close your eyes (after you read all the instructions, of course).  Think about where your life has taken you all the way from birth right up until this minute.  Think backward and compare what you thought was going to happen in your life with what actually happened.

Think about how many things didn’t turn out the way you thought they would or how you wanted them to.  Think about how many times you wanted to hear “yes,” and instead were told, “no.”  Think about how many times you were blindsided with “disasters,” that you didn’t and couldn’t anticipate.

Now think about how much better your life is because you didn’t get to control all of those twists and turns.  

Speaking of which, last year I felt God was leading me to start a small group centered around songwriting.  But not necessarily for accomplished songwriters…mostly for people who had never written songs before and don’t even play instruments.

I had all kinds of ideas about what was going to happen with that group.  How it was going to work, what I thought we could learn from it, etc.

It hasn’t been anything like I thought it would.

Like, at all.  I thought it would be a challenge to get people to write personally and vulnerably, from the heart.  

Boy was I wrong (again).

Small group members have written songs about things they say they have a hard time talking to people about. 

Addiction.

Abuse.

Cancer.

John Sweatman is a new member of the songwriting group.  John wrote last Thursday’s Embrace blog post, and in it he detailed all of the blessings he has received during his experience with cancer.

The problem is, his experience isn’t over yet…he still has a big hurdle to go.  This blog posts on Thursday.   John had surgery yesterday—Wednesday, Jan 31st—to remove his thyroid gland.  His latest scan did not show that they “got it all” with his previous treatments.

Now, what happens inside a person when they get news like that?  It’s one thing to make a blog post full of optimism and “perspective” when you’re pretty sure the hardest part is now going to be in your rearview mirror. It’s another thing to find out it’s not.

We all know John.  We know he is a faithful servant of God.  He’s a leader.  He’s a good friend to all…the best anyone could have.  He loves people, and I mean love as a verb, not just a feeling.

And he’s a human being.

John came in to the songwriting group last Thursday telling us all about the latest scan and his surgery, and he described how he felt.  Like he was surrounded by a storm of danger and that it would be very easy to get distracted by various elements present in that storm, chief among them being his own fear.  What we fear the most is losing control.  When things don’t go the way we hope or expect, we are reminded that we really have no control.

But even in the midst of this news, John was leading again, because the one thing he’s counting on to keep him safe no matter what happens is God.

I want to share the song we wrote that night about John’s journey.  It’s not over, but as long as he clings to the Rock he’s grounded in right now, I believe that everything will be o.k.


To This Rock

The storm rages, shelter withdrew
The Lord sustains, His light breaks through

The levy fails, fortune subdued
The Lord sustains, His light pours through

Darkness smothers, there’s no refuge
The Lord sustains, His light shines through

The truth is mute, the lies sound true
The Lord sustains, His light shouts through

To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling

The candle fades, Love is just pursued
The Lord sustains, His light burns through

A matter of fiction, an empty vacuum
The Lord sustains, His light moves through

Shifting sand, time stands removed
The Lord sustains, His light strikes through

All knotted up and I can’t undo it
the Lord sustains, His light cuts through

To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling
To this rock I cling, to this rock I cling