This past Sunday during worship service I sat with my husband. Normally I sing in the choir. But, because right now all practices are pertaining to the Christmas program, in which I will not be able to sing, I decided I'd sit with him and not sing for a few weeks. By the end of worship, I realized I was exactly where God wanted me to be that day because I needed to hear what the choir sang that day. And I needed to hear it right where I sat.
For special music, our choir sang the song in the video above. (And in my opinion, they did just as great a job as The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.) As they began to sing the chorus, I turned to Reagan and said, "I love this song." Although I won't say it's my favorite song of all times, it has been a song that God has used to minister to my heart. See, not too many years ago, I was a very broken girl. I was in need of much forgiveness and restoration. And I believed for quite some time I didn't deserve either of those things. I spent many days with my head cast down in shame. I had a close friend who, at that time, prayed for me daily and often reminded me that God forgives and restores. And He'd even do it for a broken girl like me. During those days, God used the words of this song to speak to me that my God is "a shield for me. The glory and the lifter of my head" during broken and troubled times. As I listened to this song this past Sunday, I was reminded of all God has done for me. I was reminded that gone are those days of hanging my head in shame for past sins and mistakes. God has restored and healed. He has traded me beauty for all my ashes and He has lifted my head. I didn't know I needed to hear those words, or to be reminded of this message. But God did. Since hearing this song this past Sunday I have listened to it repeatedly, through many tears of thankfulness.
Then, today, God used this song and these words to minister to my broken heart in another way.
Reagan called me late this afternoon with news concerning a very close friend. It's the kind of news that you never want to hear. The news many of us fear hearing. The kind of news that has you researching statistics and options. The kind of news that makes every other difficulty or hardship of your life pale in comparison. The news that figuratively, emotionally, and spiritually brings you to your knees. The kind of news that seems to change every plan you think you've had for your future. The kind of news that you cry about until you can't cry any more. Then, when you think you're done crying, you cry again without even realizing you've started. Our hearts are heavy. We are hurting. We are sad - both for ourselves and for our friend and his family. We are full of questions. We are full of disbelief that this could be happening - again - to someone so close to us.
"But thou, oh Lord, are a shield for me
The glory and the lifter of my head."
Although our heads may be downcast in grief and questions and disbelief today, we know God has a purpose. And we know that He will again lift our heads. We believe, in the good times and bad, HE is God and HE is just and HE is sovereign and HE is in control. He is "my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust. Psalm 144:2"
I do ask, those who read our blog and are believers, please pray for our friend and his family. There is much in store for them in the coming weeks. Even with what we are feeling, it is nothing compared to what this family is going through at this time. They need much comfort now, and in the future. And please pray for my sweet husband, to whom I will have been married 15 years tomorrow. His heart is so heavy and broken tonight. He is going to need strength and wisdom during the coming days as well.