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Music speaks to me.  Always has.  When I was younger there was one particular song that spoke so loudly to my soul that it became a sort of theme song for my life. I have heard many other songs over the years that have spoken to the need of my heart, but this one seems to still be the one that follows me around, reminding me of my desperate need for the Lord.

The song was from Twila Paris titled “The Warrior is a Child.”  I was talking with my son tonight about the choice we have to focus on the “good” things or the “bad” things in our lives.  More accurately, he was reminding me that I tend toward the cynical side of things although I like to think of it as keeping my head in reality.  My reality is that while I have so many things to be thankful for and praise God for (and I do), my life has also been consistently marked with hardships beyond my capabilities of enduring.  I was always told that “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle” and later found out that was a lie.  The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere.  In fact, it says the exact opposite.  The most clear place to find the truth is 2 Corinthians 1:8 where Paul is relating an experience in which they were “crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure.”  I’ve been there.  Often.  Sometimes, the “crushed and overwhelmed” is due to a single event that is so tragic that it knocks you off your feet. 

We had one of those overwhelming seasons when my son was born.  We had suffered a miscarriage before Peter came along, so the entire pregnancy was nerve racking for both my husband and I.  Several times throughout the pregnancy I was hospitalized due to uncontrollable morning sickness.  We finally made it through the delivery, thinking we had a happy, healthy 8lb 2oz bundle of joy.  They got us settled in our room around 1:00 or 2:00 am and Josh went home to get some sleep.  The nurse left Peter in my room with me and we slept off and on until about 5:30 am.  A nurse came in to check on us, looking in at Peter.  She immediately ran out of the room and grabbed another nurse into the room.  She asked “does he look blue to you?”  At this point, I was trying to get myself out of the bed but before my feet hit the floor they were wheeling my baby out of the room to the NICU.  I immediately called my husband to tell him what just happened.  When he got there we tracked down someone to tell us where they took our son and what was happening.  Talk about overwhelmed.  The days that followed were some of the toughest days we have walked, yet we saw God’s hand in every detail.  We were strong because God held us up, but there were many moments that we broke and fell at the feet of Jesus for rest and renewal. 

I have had many of these one-time ordeals in my life that left me fumbling to find peace, and I tend to stay fairly positive in those times.  Other times though, most times, it’s more like a 50-car pile-up in my life that causes me to echo Paul’s voice in 2 Corinthians.  Sometimes, life starts to look like Job.  One trial after another, getting worse, not better.  You feel like if one more thing goes wrong you will break into a million tiny pieces.  Those are the times I feel crushed and overwhelmed.  Paul says they were “crushed and overwhelmed beyond their ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die.”  That’s beyond overwhelmed.  I have been in that place so many times.  If I can be honest with you, I am there right now.  I have been struggling again to remember, like Job had to, that God is in complete control.  I don’t have to know why the trials keep piling up with no end in sight.  God doesn’t owe me an explanation and if He decides not to answer my prayers I have to accept that.  I love the last part of 2 Corinthians 1:9 that says “But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” 

This is why this song is so important to me.  When God is your strength and hope, you are able to stand in times of trial.  Yes, people will look at you like a warrior.  You look so strong to handle such a crushing experience with strength and dignity.  That’s a great testimony of God’s power, but I believe that people need to see the reality of it.  I get my strength from the Lord, but it often comes when I am broken down at my weakest moments that no one else sees.  Our world has deceived us, making us think that we need to be so strong, when what we need is to be honest about our weakness.  Bring our trials and our overburdened, overwhelmed self to the foot of the cross and cry out to the Lord!  Leave all your anxieties before Him, tell him how weak you are, and rest in His amazing, abundant strength.  Learn to rely completely on the Lord, the one who raises the dead!  He might not change my circumstances right now, but He can give me the power to put one foot in front of the other.  He can allow me the grace to serve the people He’s called me to serve, to love my husband and children, and to do the work He’s called me to do.   

He will do the same for you too.  Your first and most important need is salvation.  There is nothing more overwhelming than living in your sin that leads to death and separation from God forever.  Turn from your sin and choose Jesus who gives life and eternity with Him in Heaven.

“Warrior is a Child” lyrics:

Lately I’ve been winning 
Battles left and right
But even winners can get 
Wounded in the fight
People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears

They don’t know that 
I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know Who picks me 
Up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

They don’t know that I go 
Running home when I fall down
They don’t know Who picks me 
Up when no one is around 
I drop my sword and cry for just a while 
‘Cause deep inside this armor 
The warrior is a child

They don’t know that I go 
Running home when I fall down
They don’t know Who picks me 
Up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile 
‘Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The Warrior is a Child