Songs That Sustain Us

Songs are an important aspect of our lives. To be more specific, our family thrives on praise and worship songs - songs that give honor and praise and worship to our King Jesus. These musical pieces minister to our lives. We find that God speaks to us clearly in praise and worship songs. He touchs us. He sustains us.

In particular, several songs have touched our lives more than most.

The first song that affected us deeply was also used on the presentation of pictures at Timmy's funeral. It is "I can only Imagine," by Mercy Me. You see, when Timmy's older brother Matt first heard about his brother's call home, the very first words out of his mouth were, "Timmy doesn't have to imagine anymore." The rest of us are left to see dimly what Timmy now sees clearly. I can only imagine what Timmy knows for certain.

Another song that touched me deeply is a very simple, yet very deep song by Chris Rice, which is titled "Untitled Hymn," but which we commonly call "Come to Jesus." I ask myself what Timmy's life was all about; what were we preparing him for? The answer is so that with his final heartbeat he could go in peace, kiss this world goodbye, laugh on Glory's side and fly to Jesus and live. This song helped me to know that Timmy is now most definitely spending his time dancing with Jesus. And that is exactly what we put on his grave marker - "Dancing with Jesus."

A third song that has really sustained us is the song "Blessed be Your Name" by the Redmans. If I am indeed who I say I am -- if Jesus truly lives in me -- then I have only one possible choice to make even when, and especially when, adversity like this hits. My choice can be no other than to chose to praise God. He told my wife Kristin even while she was in the hospital right after the crash that He has a plan, and it is a plan for good and not for evil. Therefore, my heart chooses to say, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord," even when His plan means taking something away that we never owned in the first place.

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name

Update 7/2006.

A new song has had a significant influence in my life. It is "Praise You in this Storm," by Casting Crowns. Why? Well, because the storm is not done yet. I think we expected it to be. It's been over two years. But it is not yet over. It's still storming. But even still, I continue to choose to "raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away." "Though my heart is torn, I will praise You in the storm."

Update 1/2007.

I think Timmy sent me a message today. It came in the form of another new song. I took a detour through the cemetary on my to work. There was so much snow on the ground. It has been there since before Christmas. There was so much snow and I did not bring my boots. There was no way for me to tend to Timmy's grave. That made me sad. Then I got to thinking how cold it's been and how cold Timmy is in the ground there. Just then, another song came on the radio. It was the first time I had heard this song. Timmy sent me a clear message. He told me to remember that it's an empty tent, that he is free and is running with the angels on the streets of gold, and worshiping Jesus, and that's where I will find him when I get there. He told me he wished I were there. Yessir, Timmy is home. And I am homesick.

Here are lyrics and references to the songs above.

"I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me
"Untitled Hymn" by Chris Rice
"Blessed be Your Name" by Matt & Beth Redman, performed by newsboys
"Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns
"Wish You Were Here" by Mike Harris

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