By Your Side (Tenth Avenue North)
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go
(Listen to this song here at http://www.tenthavenuenorth.com/ and click on Launch Jukebox toward the bottom. By Your Side is the second song.)
This song has really got me thinking since I first heard it a couple of days ago. I've been doing a lot of praying, soul-searching, God-seeking actually...and the stunning conclusion I've come to is this:
No matter what--whatever calamity, whatever the trial, whatever the situation, whatever the need, whatever the question, whatever the doubt, whatever the pain, whatever the desire, whatever the temptation, whatever the struggle, strife or difficulty---He is here. Always and forever, here.
There's nothing I can do that will make Him stop loving me. Absolutely nothing.
I may disappoint Him. But His love will never waver. Never stop. Not ever.
In my head, I already knew these things. I mean, this is "Belief 101", right? But knowing it and accepting it deep into my heart--grasping its enormity--were two vastly different things.
I had a dream several weeks ago, after a time of deep, painful prayer. In it, I saw myself--much younger looking (could be due to the fact that I had no make up on--that's how you know it's a dream!)--standing in a dark room.
There were no walls. No sounds. No light. But I could see myself standing there, wearing a dirty white gown. I was crying--begging for something. But I couldn't hear what I was saying. All I knew was that I was begging for something, over and over.
I felt something wet hit my head, my skin. I ignored it at first, continuing to beg, to pray. Then the wetness finally got to me. I had to force myself to stop what I was going and look down.
I could see red liquid dripping from every part of me, thick, red and dark. It was blood. Lots and lots of blood.
It drenched my head and face, dripped from my eyelashes, trickled down my dirty gown like heavy rain on a window, running down my arms, dripping from my finger tips. It puddled under my feet, and I knew I was fully saturated. And yet it just kept coming.
But then I realized something odd; as the blood continued to pour out over me, my gown became whiter. Brighter. Cleaner. It was no longer dirty, but almost glowing from underneath all that blood. I couldn't see the gown itself any longer, yet it shined like the sun.
Curious and shocked, I turned around to see where all the blood was coming from. What could possibly be happening?
And there He stood. Yeshua. Jesus. Standing behind me, pouring out huge, golden bowls filled with His blood over my head. The blood was limitless. Not only that, but each bowl of blood was fresh--clean, each time. New.
It was then that I looked into His face. I was surprised to note that He looked so sad. There was pain in his gaze as His eyes locked with mine, and I felt unable to turn away. Despite the fact that I felt incredibly ashamed.
He didn't speak, but his thoughts spoke to mine. I could hear him say, "I did this for you. I love you. I've already forgiven you. Over and over. For all your sins. All of your mistakes. And yet you still doubt Me by asking again and again. You still don't trust Me completely. And yet, I've never let you down. Never left your side."
Remember how my back was to Him while the blood was poured over me? I believe that's because although I've gone to Him, begging for His forgiveness and mercy--I still don't openly receive it. Therefore, I keep asking, keep on begging. Never accepting, or I guess realizing, the fact that it was already done the first time.
Whether awake or dreaming, I keep asking, not seeing the blood washing over me.
I cried in my dream, apologizing profusely. My Saviour whose blood sacrifice I didn't "get", even though I'd "had" it all along. How terrible! Who am I to doubt? Who am I to question?
And yet...and YET, He still forgives me for those doubts. Still washes me the first time I come before Him seeking forgiveness and mercy.
He's right there. Never leaving my side. I may turn my gaze away, but His hands are still holding me.
Remember that poem, Footprints? The line where the man asks why, when he was going through the worst times, there was only one set of footprints in the sand? Why did the Lord seemingly abandon him when he needed Him most?
And the Lord's reply is so precious; "There was only one set of footprints because it was then that I carried you."
He's always there, right be your side. Never leaving. Never forsaking. Nothing can take us away from His love.
Just as a mother's love is for her children, so too is His love for us. We may become disappointed with our children--even angry at times--but we don't stop loving them. Not for a second.
And so it is with us and the Lord.
Why was it so hard for me to understand that? Was it due in part to my childhood, because my own father wasn't there for me? Somehow along the way, did I put that on my Heavenly Father?
Maybe. I don't know for sure. But I don't want to blame my dad, either. It was my choice to believe the lie that God wasn't to be fully trusted. Or anyone else for that matter.
But I'm learning, finally learning, that He will never leave. He alone is trustworthy. He alone is love.