I have a confession to make. I love Amy Grant music. The old stuff. I guess it’s mostly because it is part of the music I grew up on, and as much as I love current music, I do occasionally wax nostalgic and take great delight in listening to the songs that became the soundtrack of my life. Recently as I have been listening to Grant’s The Collection, I have been hearing something in the lyrics of some of the songs that I have missed before.
If you are a singer, you know that there are particular songs, especially early on, that seem to generate requests for you to sing again and again. For me, one of those songs was El Shaddai, which I first sang at a little Assembly of God church in El Campo, Texas in my teens. As many times as I have listened to and sung this song, there was something that only became real to me today.
As I was driving to pick up my dog from the groomer, this song came on, and one line in particular struck me in a way it never has before. I relate on a more personal level to this line than I ever could have imagined when I was a young singer with visions of touching the masses with music that would move and inspire them.
The line that captured me was this: “…to the outcast on her knees, You were the God who really sees.” Today for the first time when hearing this line, my mind immediately returned to a little bedroom in my parents’ home in the months that my first marriage was ending, and the image of myself face-down on a tear-soaked carpet, pouring out my heart to a God I couldn’t see, longing to be held by arms I couldn’t feel.
In those agonizing months of coming to terms with rejection and betrayal, I learned to know Him on a deeper level than I had ever dreamed possible. He came to me, expressing His love for me in real and intimate ways that even now I have a difficult time expressing with mere words. I came to know that He saw every painful thing that had happened, and as He healed my heart, His voice became more familiar and precious to me than I had ever known before.
Today as I drove, I heard that same familiar voice speaking again to me – through me. Here is what He said:
“To the one whose heart has been battered by rejection and betrayal, to the one who has been cast aside, to the one who has been overlooked in search of someone or something else, to the one who feels the dull ache of dreams that seem too lofty to ever come true and the sting of criticism that makes their destiny seem unattainable, tell them this:
I have not forgotten you. You are mine. I have inscribed you on the palm of my hand, and your face is etched into my heart.The ones you thought would love you may have rejected you, but I have accepted you. The world may have cast you aside, but I have adopted you as My own. The world may have overlooked you, but I have called you by name, and you belong to Me. I want you to know the depths of My love for you, to commune with Me in sweet intimacy. When we spend time together, your destiny will become clear, and as you walk in all that I have laid out in My word and listen to and follow My voice, your destiny will be fulfilled in a more powerful way than you have ever dared to imagine.”
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.”