Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Here Am I

So, recently I decided that I would start reading the Bible cover to cover (I should interject an “again” and maybe a “try”). I haven’t made it through Genesis quite yet, but I’m getting close. Anyway, my progress isn’t the point. The point is I’ve been reading it and thinking about those Old Testament figures and their faith. I mean, over and over again, I read the words “Here am I”. I know it occurs later, too. I know (because of other times of Bible study) that later on I’ll read those words again, over and over. I mean, it’s so amazing how in each of these people’s lives, God calls to them, asks them to do something, and they say, “Here am I” and they do it. I mean, Noah built an ark, looking crazy for seemingly no reason. Abraham left his family, not knowing where he was going. Abraham went into the mountains to sacrifice his son, not knowing God would provide an alternative…and that’s just a few examples!

It got me thinking about my life. Surely, God is calling me to something or maybe calling me to do a few somethings. However, I don’t know if I have been responding with a “Here am I”. I started looking at some song lyrics because that’s just how I think sometimes.

First, there’s MercyMe’s “Here Am I”. The lyrics include stories about people who haven’t heard of Jesus, those that could be reached. The chorus goes, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for me? To the ends of the earth who will rise up for the King? Here am I, send me. Here am I, send me.”

Then, there’s Daniel L. Schutte’s “Here I Am Lord”. The lyrics of this one really make me think more of Samuel, but it’s a lot like Jacob and Joseph as well, and I can imagine several of the Old Testament figures saying words like those in the chorus: “Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.”

Chris A Bowater’s “Here I Am” is one I haven’t sung before, but I’d like to track down the melody so I could learn it. It’s full of New Testament references. The first two lines, though, are what really stood out to me: “Here I am, wholly available. As for me, I will serve the Lord.” I love the “wholly available” part.

The last one was a new one to me, but I was definitely intrigued by it and will have to start searching for a way to enjoy it more. It’s “Here I Am” by FFH. Once again, I’m struck by what I can only call the chorus, “Here I am, falling in the arms of grace. Here I am, seeing You’re the only way. Here I am, You have come to plead my case. Here I am, inside the walls of mercy and grace.”

This kind of comes together to describe my thoughts. I don’t know if I’m called to be a missionary, but like MercyMe’s “Here am I”, I know that I am called to share Christ’s love with others through my words and actions. That’s what I’m called to do every day. I also believe I’m called to share Christ’s love with my patients, co-workers, friends, and the youth that I have the pleasure of working with. The second song, really hits me because it kind of speaks to my confusion right now, my pondering of what is next. I’m trying to determine just what God is calling me to do this summer and where. That’s the whole “Here I am, is it I, Lord?” part. That and no matter what and where I end up going this summer, it will require me to take a leap of faith. That’s the “I will go, Lord, if you lead me.” And I’m praying for all my potential co-workers and those I might serve. That’s the “I will hold your people in my heart.” part. That third part feels like a charge to me. “Here I am, wholly available. As for me, I will serve the Lord.” I mean, whoa! I wish I could say that I was making myself wholly available to God. I wish I wasn’t holding back on following God. I wish I were saying “I will serve the Lord” instead of “I will serve the Lord if ”. That last song, sounds like the place I’m getting to, now. “Here I am, falling in the arms of grace.” It sounds to me like surrender. That’s what I’m slowly doing, surrendering to God’s will, allowing Him to move me and guide me, giving up my ambitions and my pride and my concerns and trusting the Lord to provide for me. I don’t know that any one song speaks to me more than the others. I’m at a crossroads right now. I’m a bit jumbled and vacillate between the various emotions represented by those songs. I mean, I thought that I could explain how much I love the phrase and what those songs say to me in a nice progression. I thought I could pinpoint where I was in the spectrum, but it changes so frequently. One minute, I’m on fire and feel like I’m living my call. The next, I’m wondering where I’m going to go next. Then, I find myself feeling charged and challenged to honestly seek God’s will. Then, I move on to an almost desperate surrender, a desire to truly take that leap of faith, but then I remember that I don’t know what’s next, get scared and go back to the desperate pleading of “Is it I?” because I want to be certain. Then, I remember the opportunities I have and realize I’m living a call right now…I just bounce around between them all. I need to put them all in a play list and hit random (‘cept I don’t own any of them…I haven’t even know the melodies for some of them). Yet, it seems to be the playlist of my heart right now, and I can wish for the faith of the Old Testament figures (saying “Here am I” and go and take some incredible leap of faith), but wishing won’t do anything. I’m really praying for the faith it takes to beautifully surrender to the Lord. We’ll see if it happens. I know what I really need is some “knee time”. That’s the first step, right? “falling on my knees to get back on my feet again”? It’s definitely worth a try.

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