Mercy & Grace – 40 Days with the Music of Amy Grant
Day 21 – Friday after 3rd Sunday of Lent
These Reflections which take the music of Amy Grant as their theme, were originally published in Lent 2015. They are being republished during the Covid19 pandemic which is affecting the whole world.
From the Scriptures:
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7.21-24)
From Amy Grant: What You Already Own
I give you my heart broken and bruised.
It’s still beating strong and wanting to trust you.
I know I’m unfaithful,
I know I do wrong.
Do you protect what you already own?
I give you my body
Naked and meek,
Burning with passion,
Human and weak.
I try to be faithful
then I go wrong.
Can you protect what you already own?
Can you protect what you already own?
I know I’m unfaithful…
I give you my life
Precious and rare,
Knowing wherever I’ve been, you were there.
Sometimes I’m faithful
Sometimes I’m strong,
Will you protect what you already own?
I will be faithful
Help me be strong.
‘Cause you will protect what you already own
You still protect what you already own.
Thank heavens that Mothering Sunday is just a day or two away! I do not know how others cope with Lent but by about the time I get midway it through almost all of my promises of extra discipline, devotion and study lie in tatters alongside my broken New Year resolutions – 2015 has been no different to previous years!
When Amy sings ‘I give you my heart broken and bruised,’ and I think this is her meaning, I realise that I am most often the one who has been the cause of my heartbreak and I am the one who bruises my inner being. With the apostle Paul I cry all too frequently, ‘Wretched man that I am!’
How can God continue to love such a willful part of his creation? Not only do I find myself falling and sinning but I also find it to be the same sin again and again and again! If I were God I would have ‘let me go’ a long time since and given myself up as irredeemable. But God does not! God sees much more in me than I can ever glimpse in the mirror.
This is why the Gospel is Good News indeed! He sees our worth in the middle of the failings of sin and finds us useful when we prove ourselves to be incapable of doing what we desire – let alone bend our lives to God’s will.
I do not like this. I feel that I am not at all worthy of such great love. Still God continues to love beyond what we can comprehend or deserve. Yes! He does indeed ‘protect what he already owns’ and, regardless of how much heartbreak we cause, He will not ever let us go.
How can we bear this love? Can we ever look Him in the face and accept his loving gaze and gentle embrace? Amy reminds me that there is nowhere God is not. So, even when I am at my dirtiest and most sinful, I can, with her ‘Know wherever I’ve been, you were there.’ And if He is there He weeps next to us in our failings and is at hand to lift us into His loving embrace, wash us with the tears we share together, and restore us.
Many years ago, a young man sat in the middle of a communion service in a convent in a mixed race area in Cape Town struggling to make his confession, and had a sense of the presence of Jesus standing behind him. Loving arms reached out to embrace him and whispered deep into his soul, ‘Andrew, you are mine’. He will never change His love for us let us be constant in turning to Him daily, no matter how fouled with sin we are, knowing that regardless of our strength or faith – or lack of it – he will remain faithful (2 Timothy 2.13).
Have a look at all you promised to complete on Ash Wednesday (or maybe since the New Year) and choose one small think to offer again to The One who Loves us Best.
In moments of weakness and distress
it is good to tread closely in God’s footsteps.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Pilgrim
All of the music on the video clips from YouTube is © Amy Grant. If you enjoy listening to her songs please consider buying her recordings. A full discography and other information about Amy can be found on her website http://www.amygrant.com
Scripture quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
Prayers from Pilgrim are copyright © 2015 Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, Robert Atwell and Paula Gooder.