Saturday, 22 November 2014

Come Out of Hiding

I first heard this song as I sat in the Rec Centre on the back of Redeemer’s campus. As chairs were set, cookies spread across the table, and lighting worked out, two girls stood at the front practicing the worship set for Identify, the women’s worship night.

“Come out of hiding, you're safe here with me...”

 Their voices rang together as they sang this love song. A song meant to demonstrate God’s message and love to us.

And as I sat on the outskirts, a guest in a place that I once considered home, I was moved by the lyrics they sang out.

I scribbled down the singer’s name, Steffany Gretzinger, in the back of my notebook as they stopped, working out transitions and harmonies.

Later that week I downloaded the song, listening to it over and over but quickly setting it aside for others in my playlist – I mean, Taylor Swift’s new album came out the same week.

But last night, as I moved about the kitchen getting dinner ready, Brandon flicked on the Apple TV and as usual, the controller took over my Macbook as well. All of a sudden this song started ringing out...

“Now rid of the shackles, my victory’s yours...”

It was turned off and Brandon continued with what he was doing but the truth of this song has continued to wrestle inside of me.

And as the fight refused to relent, I started to ask myself why? Why am I fighting against such a beautiful message, such a beautiful love song?

Because it sings of a love that I don’t deserve, a love that doesn’t make sense.

A love that brings grace.

It seems that many people feel that they have to work, do, and be something else in order to come close. In order to find this love. In order to keep it.

And yet, the message in this song is unrelenting, non-judgmental, and fully accepting.

“I saw it all, still I chose the cross...”

He knows all, sees all, and still loves us.

And it is not that he only sees the past, the things we have left behind, the things we have turned from in order to turn to him. He sees the present. He sees the struggles we have each day. He sees the times we choose ourselves, we choose to hurt him, we choose to reject his grace.

He sees it all.

Grace does not come from doing enough or being enough. It is not about saying the right things or acting the right way. It is not about perfection. Too many of us find ourselves doing things in particular moments that we would feel ashamed to admit to.

“There’s no need to cover what I already see...”

He knows. And it doesn’t scare him. It doesn’t turn him away. It doesn’t make him doubt his grace.

It confirms his love. 

Too often we may find ourselves in a spiral of feeling far from God because we create the distance, not because he pushes us away. Too often we are afraid of the things we do that we know we shouldn’t. Too often we run.

It is not to say we shouldn’t strive for what is good, and right, and whole. It is to say that we need to accept forgiveness. It is to say that we are human. And that is okay.

We need to remember what God’s love really looks like, and stop distorting it into something that we can grasp.

Perhaps this is a message only for me, as I struggle through God’s grace and his acceptance of me despite what I feel I may deserve. But perhaps this is a message for you too... to know God’s grace, to feel acceptance, to turn to him.

“Just throw off your fear and coming running to me...”

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