Hot off the press! The amount of songs I've written lately has been pretty insane...so I'd expect a slow down soon :). But, since this song wraps up what I have been studying in the Bible this year...which went from Joshua all the way through Solomon. So, this included all the passages about King Saul and then King David. So, when re-reading the story about David and Goliath (which almost everyone knows!), I had a thought: Did David feel invincible? Because he sure sounds like it. He knows he is the Lord's anointed and that God will give him this victory! But it doesn't sound like he is always so assured. A few pages later, when he is running from Saul, he essentially says, "I'm out of here! I'm not going to stay in Israel but go to the land of the Philistines. If I stay, surely I will lose my life to Saul." Where is the man who trusted God's promises to bring victory as he promised.
But, this also begged the question in me...is there ever a time where I can be assured of victory? Now, I realize this question is kind of vague. In my mind, I'm thinking about mainly mentoring relationships or time poured into students. We have no guarantees how students will respond to effort I give to help them succeed. When I disciple students, I also have no idea if they will keep the faith or turn away. And it is so discouraging to watch kids "self-destruct." If I could know what kids to pour into, wouldn't that be nice? (I think part of this question was wanting to make my life easier). But the other half of this question was just genuine wrestling in my soul: I long to be confident and brave and hope for the best always when walking into hard situations, but knowing that not everything goes as I want it to (or even as God would want it to because He desires no one would turn away) makes it hard to act with confidence.
As I wrestled with this for some time throughout this year, a good friend of mine brought up that followers of Jesus counted it a privilege to suffer for His name. Suffering is a part of the Christian walk, and they were encouraged because they were suffering as Jesus did. To desire victory and success is not wrong, but to expect it and then face discouragement when it doesn't happen takes away from the resilience God wants to grow in us. My friend also mentioned that there are several times in life where trials can 1) draw us closer to Jesus, but 2) draw others closer to Jesus. In a time when her family had serious skepticism about her faith, her illness drew them to a realization that her faith was real. Some really amazing conversations resulted. She then ended that e-mail with, "Who is this God that brings life from ashes?!?" So, I have to give her the credit for that :).
But, to close - this song is an anthem of hope for me! We cannot predict when we are going to see success or when we will face trials, temptations, or discouragement. But, we can know that the true victory in Christ has already come. He has conquered every evil for all time and His victory has already begun to manifest itself. But, even in this time, true victory is the realization that God is taking back our hearts from fear. We can be brave because we know He will be with us. We cannot lose what is to be born in passing through this fire. Any trial we face God will use. In that way...I kind of feel like we are invincible, right?
Along those lines, some bonus verses from 1 John come into the bridge. This is probably one of my strongest songs, and I hope you enjoy it!
Life From Ashes
I'm thinking about David again and the one stone in his hand
Did he feel invincible then? Or a little afraid, just like me?
'Cause I don't always win, and the doubts flood in
And I'm already running from my own defeat
Can You show me what it means that You hold the victory?
Awaken my eternal eyes
To see the hope inside my soul that flourishes in time
With a strength that will not run dry
We cannot lose what's to be born in passing through this fire
Who is this God that brings life from ashes?
'Cause He's never done
But not all giants look the same, there are some that we cannot slay
Do Your promises remain even if I should stumble?
So when the past hits like a wave and my hearts holding onto the ache within
I know I want to be brave again no matter the outcome
Don't let the fear inside of me hold even one victory
Even when our hearts condemn us
You set them at rest in Your Presence
You are greater than our hearts, Greater than the counted cost
This is all I need
This, this is the victory
My name is complicated. My parents named me Theresa. My friends call me "Pinky." My professional title is "Ms. Lindell." Choose one.