Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Can Only Imagine

Driving home from taking Anthony to work on Friday morning, this song came on the radio. It had been a [LONG] time since I'd actually listened to it all the way through; and that's because at it's HeyDay, this song was the most overplayed song on Christian and Secular radio stations alike. It went from being the song everyone requested, to the song that made everyone switch stations when they heard its familiar piano intro.

I remember exactly where I was and who I was with the very first time I heard this song sung by Mercy Me. Coli and I were both living at my Mom and Dad's house - she was preparing for marriage and I was in the beginning stages of losing mine - and she was watching the Dove Awards on the small TV in her bedroom. I had gone in to her room to talk to her and Mercy Me was just in the throws of performing this song. Immediately the melody caught my ear and the lyrics soon grabbed my heart. I was enraptured by this song and it quickly spread through our family as everyone was introduced to it.

It wasn't long before I had a copy of the CD in my car and it so moved me that I found myself listening to it over and over and over again. Within a week or so, Teighlor and Alec, being only 5 & 4 at the time, had learned the lyrics (yes, that's how often I played it) and, in their little voices, were singing at the top of their lungs ... even asking me to play it again when I'd dare play a different song.

One of the sweetest memories I have of this song is when I had Teighlor, Sierra, Alec and Kobe (all between the ages of 2 and 5) in the backseat of my car and this song come on the radio. As soon as Bart Millard began singing, four little voices joined in and my heart stopped inside me. It didn't take more than a second for me to understand - in the smallest of ways - what it must have been like for God to listen to the sweetest, most innocent worship. All four kids were lifting their voices high without a care for how loud they were or without thought for how in tune they were.

What shocked me - and I remember this like it was yesterday - was how I didn't hear "pitchiness" or "off key voices". I simply heard the littlest of these singing their hearts out to their Daddy. They knew every single word and sang them with a conviction that sounded as if they understood them better than most adults (and probably did!).

When I came "back to reality", I realized all of this had run through my head and heart as I listened to the musical introduction of this song. It was one of those moments when time seemed to run slower than normal because I had relived those memories in record time. When the lyrics began to be sung, I instantly understood that God was asking me to see an old song with fresh eyes; to not be sucked into the "But I've heard this song a thousand times before" mentality and just relive the majesty and awesome wonder of the truth of this song, as if hearing it for the first time.

Amazingly (said with tongue in cheek), my spirit fluttered as I "lived" this song again, with a fresh word from God that settled into my heart:

"I wrote that song to give you a twinkle of the delight and AWEsomeness of Heaven; to align your spirit to mine; to cause your heart to yearn deeper for me and the time that's coming when we'll never be apart. My Words are always fresh and new. It's the enemy who desires to make them appear stale and boring." [WOW!]

Whether a song written through a musician He's gifted; or a book He penned through the ready writer; or the Word He breathed into the 40 authors of the Bible ... God used that [seemingly insignificant] morning when I was driving East on 114 to sweetly remind me that stale, boring, old & overplayed are not adjectives He uses to describe His Words...they are the enemy's.


  1. Hip hip hooray. Your blog is reopened. :)

    I need to keep you around! You, J, and the family are the only way I will remember my life. haha That song meant so much to all of us so long ago. (Picturing Teighlor and Alec's sweet voices.)

    Neat lesson about God making everything fresh!! The next time I hear a song at church that I just don't like, I am going to ask God to breathe on it. And then, I'll listen again.

    We bought the new MercyMe CD today - The Generous Mr. Lovewell. We just listened to snipits of each song, but I teared up on so many. It's so obvious they had a life changing encounter with God's LOVE. It's everywhere in the lyrics, in the emotion, and in the rhythms. Wow.

  2. What a great reminder. I can't think of how many things I have skipped or fast forwarded because I was so sure I had heard all there was to hear....