I love live music; don’t you? I mean, I love music in general but there’s just something special about a live show. More on that in a minute, but first I have to say: I’ve been to more concerts in the last 5 years than I had the entire 15 years previously, so you might think then that my love of live music is a recent thing. Actually, though, I went through a phase in life where concerts weren’t something I did and now it’s something I’m doing again.
I think my first concert must’ve been with my parents and sister to see Conway Twitty when I was about 3 years old. I remember bright lights and sleeping through it.
My first real concert though was the Steven Curtis Chapman Great Adventure Tour. I was 13 and have always thought of it as my first double date, although I’m positive that I was the only one thinking that. It was my youth leader and his wife and the boy from the youth group on which I had a crush. That counts, right?
So over the years I’ve seen a few bigger names like the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow (twice!), Rascal Flatts (also twice), Lady Antebellum, Sugarland … a lot of country music I know … Jewell, Paul Simon at the Grand Ol Opry … and some of my favorite contemporary Christian groups Casting Crowns, Tenth Avenue North, Jars of Clay, and most recently Third Day.
I was thinking while at Third Day at how this looks just like a secular concert but it’s not. The lights, the screaming fans, the loud instruments, the energy, jumping up and down and dancing (yes, dancing, at a Christian event) is the same. But the difference is the Spirit and the Word (and words). The Third Day concert looked just like anyother concert but these guys weren’t just singing about broken relationships and hurts and love songs for the sake of capturing the human experience. They sang about those things with an element of hope! And they were singing about and to Jesus, and that’s huge! I mean, in addition to enjoying the show and being impressed by amazing musical talents, it was worshipful, like being at church or like what I imagine heaven to be like.
So, in addition to all that, I knew when I made plans to go that part of going might be painful. John was a bigger Third Day fan than I, and I played a live version of their song Nothing Compares at his funeral. It was a favorite of his for the speech made by lead singer Mac Powell during the middle of the song:
“Those words that were written and spoken by the Apostle Paul apply just as much to our lives today as they did 2,000 years ago when he wrote them. That in our lives, no matter where we could go or who we could meet or what we could see or what we could earn or be given to us or accomplish, there is nothing in our lives that will ever even come close to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I was prepared to hear the song and even kind hopeful to hear it, to see if or what Powell might say in the middle.
They didn’t play it.
But, what they did play was Miracle, and that was probably even harder to hear than Nothing Compares would’ve been.
The true story in Miracle is about a guy who drives into the woods to end his life and hears a song (a Third Day song, to be exact) on Christian radio, which was the only station he could pick up, and after hearing the song he decides not to end his life.
Well, as you might imagine, when I first heard this song on the radio many months ago I naturally wanted to know why I didn’t get a miracle, why didn’t John hear a song – his favorite Third Day song, even — and make a different choice. Why don’t I get to go up to Third Day after a concert, like the family that the song is about, and tell my story and have them write a song about it? Why, instead, is my story that a Third Day song didn’t save his life but was played at his funeral?
There’s no answers to those questions, save that God is sovereign and God is good and this is what He allowed to happen instead. So I trust He knows what He’s doing. But, the questions were there and the warm tears on my cheeks were there too when they played this story live. And while there’s a certain sadness to it obviously, there’s a stange peace too in trusting that God knows what He’s doing and our miracle just isn’t the same as others’. There’s miracles all over the place in how God has taken care of me and the boys through all of this and I anticipate more miracles to come.
No matter who you are and no matter what you’ve done
There will come a time when you can’t make it on your own
And in your hour of desperation
Know you’re not the only one, praying
Lord above, I need a miracle
After “Be Still and Know” and “Be Silent and Know” came “He’s Got You Covered.”
If you don’t know, and/or don’t want to take the time to read the Be Still post, basically be still and be silent and know that God is God were words given to me last month by the Holy Spirit.
I figured out that in order to put into practice being still and being silent and knowing meant I had to work on my trust. Did I really trust God enough to handle my life — to handle me — to just hand it all over to Him and do nothing (nothing about my life situations or direction, that is). My life and me and all I have are all His anyway, to be taken away or used up anytime, as he sees fit. Seems kinda silly to give Him something that’s already His, yet its that act of total surrender that He desires and that we receive the most benefit and blessing from. That act is the foundation of a relationship with Him.
So the phrase “He’s got me covered” became my motto, of sorts. No matter what happens, he’s got me covered. Total trust. If my husband dies — which he did — He’s got me covered. If something happens to my relationships, my job, my home, one of my boys, my family, you name it — I believe 100 percent that He — God Almighty — has me — Heather — covered.
In practice, that means I don’t take matters into my own hands. Oh my, that’s hard. Because I think “well if they just saw things this way” or “if they only knew X …” then things would be better. But that’s not how it is. If God wants someone to see things a different way or to tell them something I think they don’t know, He’ll get the message through. He could use me to do that, but it doesn’t require me taking matters into my hands. Also, how things are without someone seeing things my way or without them knowing “X” could be all part of His divine plan. Because, get this: He knows what we need better than we do. Read that again. He knows what we need better than we do. That’s deep, don’tcha think? When we take matters into our own hands we may rob ourselves of something better he has in store.
So that brings me to the driver. I had a flat tire and I had to get it replaced. I took advantage of the auto dealership’s free shuttle to and from work. Throughout the drive, the driver had a pleasant, joyful demeanor; a real “people” person. At one point during our shared fellowship I wanted to ask him if he was a Christian. I had never felt that urge so strongly before but I just knew that had to be where his joy came from. In the course of the conversation it was revealed that I was a mom of two young boys and that my husband had died last summer. It was also revealed that his oldest son had died about 10 years ago.
We had a good visit, and when he dropped me at the door to my building I turned to him and said, “It was delightful riding to work with you today. Thank you so much for the conversation during the ride.” And he says to me something like this: “You and me, we shared a moment and that’s what it’s all about. He’s got you covered. You gon’ be OK.”
I started crying as he was talking about how God works and how we shared a blessing with each other that day and that God brought him to be my driver. I told him that he had no idea how true that was, that I’d been working through my thoughts on trust and how I needed to and was putting into practice trusting God no matter what. I told him that “He’s got me covered” had become my mantra and that I knew, without a doubt, that he was sent to affirm to me that yes, indeed, He does have me covered, and his watching over and taking care of me.
“His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
If that’s not a miracle or an angel then I don’t know what a modern day occurrence of those things would be.
All things work together for good to them who love the Lord. Rom. 8:28.