Once upon a time, which is another way of saying, probably ten or twelve years ago, there was a little brother and his big sister. As it happens, this little boy and little bit bigger girl belonged to me. And as the history of our story goes, we had a new music CD that my sister had gifted us. The front cover of this CD said Casting Crowns, but the very first song on the CD was titled What If His People Prayed. Furthermore, the very first lines of this song begin, “What if the armies of the Lord, Picked up and dusted off their swords?” My two little people very much liked this CD and music and they christened it with the name “Armies of the Lord.”
It was quite common for me to hear one or the other of them proclaiming, “Let’s listen to the Armies of the Lord. And somehow I think, Casting Crowns wouldn’t mind a bit being included into the Armies of the Lord and thought of in this way. 🙂
Once upon another time, again a number of years back, a very best friend texts to tell me Casting Crowns is going to be in the city near us and would I like to go with her? Yes! I do indeed want to go. Not only to hear “The Armies of the Lord” but to spend time with my friend. My daughter planned to go along too and we look forward to it with eager anticipation.
As life and sickness happens, my friend isn’t able to attend when the date arrives.
We go ourselves and instead of chatting with our friend over supper at a restaurant, Renae and I shop a little and drop things off at Goodwill and grab hamburgers from Wendy’s and chat with each other.
We find the location, navigate the Yukon into a parking spot, and head toward the doors.
As we enter, my mind drifts through the corridors of years and merry children’s voices drift down our stairway.
My little guy fits the CD into his radio, and the notes soon filter down below.
I snap back to the present. We match the numbers on our tickets with our section and seat numbers and clamber into the row. I settle my bag under my seat as people continue to file in, filling up the arena.
We grin at each other. I snap a picture to text to my friend. “We MISS you!” I say.
We watch the people. We watch the choreography, the lights, and I watch my daughter’s dear face.
We listen as they share stories and show a video about Compassion, sharing the opportunity to sponsor a child. Tears press as a sponsored child, now grown, tells about the impact it made for them. They talk of the difference it makes in the lives of children. The difference we can make by Making Room For One More.
I’m inspired by an older man, a grandpa, by my way of judging, several rows down, to the left of us. I catch him from the corner of my eye. He waves his arms, claps, sings, and praises the Lord.
I love the sound of the voices all around the arena as the music silences itself and lets the audience sing out alone.
Once again, tears blink up when they ask cancer survivors to stand. Many rise to their feet all around the room.
One day, all the sickness, disease, cancer, dirty water, famine, peril and heartache will vanish.
And then, again, the tears come. The Voice of Truth begins to play out, and it speaks deep in me. I’ve long loved this song, and lately, I again battle feeling that I can’t ever manage to be the woman of God I so deeply long to be.
It feels like the giants are laughing at me and saying, “Girl, You’ll never win.”
You are never going to. You’re always going to trip. You will lose your sling and drop your stones. You say things when you shouldn’t and don’t when you should. You complain instead of giving gratitude. You’re lousy as a friend. You thought perhaps mothering was your thing?! Ha! Think again. Did you really think you could glorify God? Did you really think you could be a wife, let alone a farmwife? Do you think you’re fooling anyone? You’re so judgy of others. You can sure talk the talk, but try walking the walk!!! “You fail,” the giants sneer.
And then the chorus of the song rings out…
“But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story, the voice of Truth says, ‘Do not be afraid,’ the Voice of Truth says, ‘This IS for my Glory,’ Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth.”
Right there. That’s the answer.
What am I choosing to listen to? Who am I choosing to trust? Am I willing to let go and lay down the burdens?
I WILL mess up. But it doesn’t mean I’m forever a mess.
I WILL disappoint. But it doesn’t mean my complete identity is
D I S A P P O I N T M E N T.
I WILL fail and flounder. But it doesn’t mean I am a floundering failure.
I WILL let people down. I WILL say the wrong thing. I WILL NOT be a perfect parent.
For in all my foibles and selfishness and character flaws, I am still a Daughter of the King.
My Jesus has redeemed me. I am sanctified in Him. Chosen. Crowned in His Righteousness for His Glory.
This is what The Voice of Truth tells me and THIS is something to sing over!