although we are weeping

Mouths filled with laughter and tongues loosed with joy, that would be ideal. It’s the kind of delight your lungs can’t handle.

But, that kind of delight is not a constant state of emotion and maybe that’s why I liked singing this song so much on Sunday during communion. It is a peaceful prayer that believes God is faithful. It is a prayer that believes God will keep His promises. It is a prayer that trudges through death and sorrow and ugliness, believing God can and will restore.

Psalm 126 (Our Mouths They Were Filled)

Our mouths they were filled, filled with laughter
Our tongues they were loosed, loosed with joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord

Although we are weeping
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry
All those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy

The nations will say, “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord

This is a familiar heartbeat of mine that is hard to explain. It is the messy sadness I feel even while I am rooted in joy. It is hoping and believing when days are weighty and when words are flat. It is the joy of an eternal God who has promised restoration and will be faithful to deliver.

Although we are weeping
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your kingdom
For the day You will reap them
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry
All those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy

And this is the good, hard work of believing Him for who He is. When we are weeping, He is the help to sow the seeds of His kingdom. When we are weak and afraid and tired and lazy and distracted, He is the strength we need to live outwardly and love unselfishly.

He is building a kingdom and He is using the weepers. He is populating heaven and He has not just asked the bubbly ones to be recruiters.

I love that He is the strength and the help for those who obey through tears. This is a hard fought believing. This is a daily grind believing and future grace is the rhythm.

I believe He is able to restore and I believe He is able to redeem.
And I believe He will.

the weight of the bread | the need of a Pilot

The kitchen smells like dessert but the taste of communion bread still lingers in my mouth.

At the Desiring God conference last weekend, Kevin DeYoung encouraged us not to be timid with the bread when communion Sunday rolled around – to tear off a big chunk, just to feel the weight of it.

Unfortunately, my church passes a plate with pre-torn flatbread pieces so I had to imagine a weightier loaf. And I did imagine. Sitting up there in the balcony during the second service, I imagined the humanness of my Savior who walked on this earth. I imagined him lifting up the loaf of bread and motivating us to holiness as He declared it a symbol for His body.

As I imagined a weighty chunk of bread in my hand, I thought my Savior’s identity and how it shapes mine. DeYoung pointed out that, in Colossians 3, “God calls us chosen, holy, and beloved before He commands us to be eager about the process of becoming holy.”

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14 ESV)

God does not call us to become holy so that we will be chosen, holy, and beloved. No, we become holy – from one degree to the next – as we are motivated by the weight His grace towards us. We become holy as we dive deeper into the study of God and are stirred up to live in a new way. We become holy by the grace of God and with the power of God as we understand our helplessness without Him.

This song is a story of such helplessness that motivates me to holiness. It’s kind of like holding a weighty chunk of communion bread in my hand and then letting it dissolve on my tongue. His calling me chosen, holy, and beloved is just as real as that piece of bread dissolving in my still-becoming-holy mouth and as gracious as the Pilot who enters the storm to navigate the castaway safely to the shore.

I’m not becoming holy so that I can get to shore.
I am becoming holy because I love so dearly the One who pilots my helpless ship.

Jesus, Savior Pilot Me by The Bifrost Arts

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

Though the sea be smooth and bright,
Sparkling with the stars of night,
And my ship’s path be ablaze
With the light of halcyon days,
Still I know my need of Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will,
When Thou sayest to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
’Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
“Fear not, I will pilot thee.”