Bringing Me Back Home

Last year I was introduced to the incredible music of Michael Gungor and his band known simply as Gungor. Their album Beautiful Things captivated me with it’s lyrical depth, complex instrumentation, and overall uniformity from track to track. (Plus he has a cellist in the band. That is always worth several bonus points.) For those who love music there always seems to be certain songs that capture in an instant the essence of where life has you. Those songs pull and draw you in and beg to be listened to over and over again. The song Please Be My Strength is one of those songs for me. It is a heart cry of desperation to God to do what I cannot do. Lyrics of the song are in bold italics. My commentary is interjected throughout.

I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again

like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short 

I love the way this song begins with the first verse focusing on all the “I” things I’ve tried and cannot do. Often on my faith pilgrimage I find myself trying to live out my faith all on my own. That though my head and the confession of my mouth would say otherwise, I become self-reliant in my Christian walk. Surprise! I become me-focused. My faith actually becomes me trying to live out my own faith without God. It never works and the futility in trying to do so is pictured in the lyrics of trying to hold “water on the sand” or “grasping the wind”. It can’t be done. My faith is not mine.

Please be my strength
Please be my strenth
I don’t have anymore
I don’t have anymore

Perfect simplicity. The chorus reminds me of the words of Christ in this scene, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:15-16 ESV) It’s a fantastic mental image of our need of Him. Who hasn’t experienced the cry of a young child with arms upward pleading to be carried because they can’t walk anymore? And this is what Christ asks of us. To come with arms outstretched to Him in desperation when we have come to end of our rope, begging Him to provide for us His strength when we realize our strength is powerless.

I’m looking for a place
where I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure

I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping me

This verse helps to reorient my mind on the complete sufficiency of Christ. That the faith I have is given by Him, rooted in Him, cultivated by Him, and kept by Him. I was drawn to Him with nothing and continue in His power alone. “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:11-14 ESV)

Please be my strength…

At my final breath
I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith

I pray Your glory shines
in this doubting heart of mine
and all would know that You

The last verse gives comfort by pointing to the hope of Christ in us. That “. . . He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 ESV) That when our hearts are doubting and our faith grows incredibly weak, that it is He who strengthens and sustains. “. . . I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ESV) That the Gospel we are to live daily is not our strength, but of us in Him and He in us all to the glory of God. (Colossians 1:24-29) Some of Paul’s last words to us as death approached him were, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV) And just in case we should think that Paul is any way talking about some sort of self-sufficiency, he then points out in 2 Timothy 4:17-18 that it is the Lord that strengthens, rescues, and safely brings him home.

You are my strength
You and You alone
You and You alone
Keep bringing me back home

The final words of the song and we are introduced to the hook, “keep bringing me back home.” These are the words that I’ve used for the name of my blog because they resonate so deeply within me. Five words that I’ve viewed in my own life from multiple facets. When I fight with providing my own faith, He brings me back to the home of His faith. When I struggle with selfishness, He brings me back to the home of service and gratitude. When weariness overcomes it is He that whispers, “Come home and find shelter under My wings.” In my everyday prodigal journeys it is His love that draws me back home where He welcomes me again and trades out my rags of sinful wandering for the righteous robes of His son. Ultimately, He is working in me a journey of continual resting in Him until the day comes when He brings me Home forever. And then there will be no bringing me back, I will simply be Home.

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1 Comment

Filed under God, Music

One response to “Bringing Me Back Home

  1. Amber

    Great post! You know I love me some Gungor! Thanks for introducing me!

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