What Does Your Spirit Long For?


I’m captivated by a song.

Initially I heard it on the Christian radio stations I listen to, Air1 and K-Love. The chorus haunted me and each time I heard it, another part of the lyrics would grab my heart and call out to my spirit. It so perfectly portrays where I am at in my life right now, learning to trust Jesus more intimately and fully as he draws me into bigger, deeper places of life, love and considering others.

So, as is my practice when I hear a song I like, I grabbed my guitar, found the live version on YouTube, looked up the lyrics and copied them down with the chords. Fortunately, it fits in my singing range (barely) so I didn’t have to transpose the key. Yes, I own a capo, but would rather not use it if possible. The past two days, I’ve been playing it and learning the words. Strains of it circle in my head like the seagulls near my home.

It keeps my mind on Jesus.

The cool thing about this song is how it is affecting people’s lives. I’ve heard a rumor that it is considered the number one worship song in the world right now. One of the comments I happened to see online was written by a woman who said she is Muslim, but loves the song.

That doesn’t surprise me.

We were designed by God to have an intimate relationship with him. He longs for us like we long for those we love. And we have a place in our spirit that cries out for him. No matter where we search to find him whether in art, science, books, religion, other gods, nature, etc. it is God our spirits pant after like a deer after water. (That simile is in the Bible. I didn’t make it up.)

However, another comment disturbed me.

This was written by a man, someone who follows Jesus, who said this is an awful song.  His reason? It doesn’t specifically say God or Jesus in the written lyrics. True enough. It speaks of Savior, God’s sovereignty, Spirit, but alas, no Jesus. Maybe because it is talking to him. Like in a personal conversation with someone you love.

That comment made think about how many of us don’t realize the depth of God’s love for us. Or maybe, like me earlier in my life, the idea of intimacy with Jesus seemed creepy – because my experience told me that intimacy was a bad, scary thing. Perhaps, it’s because we can only imagine God as a far away disciplinarian who waves a stick or points a finger at our wrongness. Or possibly, we simply haven’t considered the idea that there is a creator of all this beauty around us who wants to share it with us because he made us too and loves us deeply.

Whatever the reason, it seems this song is offering an alternative.

I hope you will listen and be blessed. I wouldn’t be surprised if you find something you didn’t know your spirit was looking for. Being a guitarist, this is my favorite version. Enjoy.

I’d love to know what you think. About the song, this post or even what instrument you play 🙂

WHAT I LEARNED FROM WORD


The week has been a challenging one

I’ve been through the proof of my book and found so many issues! Typos, formatting and some very bad writing. Naturally, I wanted to perfect as much as possible for my readers, and also for my Lord. I endeavor to work with all my heart for him, giving my very best to bring honor and glory. So I made numerous revisions and prepared to tackle the formatting issues.

I confess the learning curve for Word was pretty steep.DSC_0001

Many years ago, I worked as an editor for a Christian ministry, CTW, where I learned how to manipulate Word after taking many classes and notes. But, like anything we use little of, I had forgotten much of what I used to do. I labored and re-formatted and undid hundreds of actions. I checked out some tutorials on YouTube: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FzvtxK686c) and (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN0UzKTyaTA). After tweaking my pages again, I realized I knew just enough to get myself into trouble. I had remembered some information incorrectly and assumed other parts so that my work ended up a mess. After being reduced to tears a couple of times, I went back and followed the tutorials step by step, pausing them while I implemented the exact instructions. I found them very helpful, but they still didn’t address all of my particular issues. Finally, I found the help of this gentleman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK5-3KZ-c7k

My gratitude abounds!

At last, my work only needed one more issue addressed. This site helped: http://wordfaqs.mvps.org/bottomline.htm

If any of you are self-publishing a book, I highly recommend the previously mentioned resources. They fully cover the professional side of writing. But I learned a lot on a personal level as well.

Things are not always what they seem.

In Word, we don’t see the behind-the-scenes of what the program is doing. There are rabbit trails of tabs to open and boxes to click in order to get the finished product to look the way we want. The steps are fairly easy if followed in order and by simple instruction, but if we jump ahead (as I am prone to do) or try to fix something out of order, we end up complicating the situation.

As I worked, I realized that life is a lot like that.

Behind the scenes of our lives is an entire spiritual realm we don’t see. A battle ensues in the invisible, and only God knows the best way to navigate it and win. When I ignore the instructions, thinking I know the best way to handle something, I often end up frustrated and stuck. If I follow the Lord’s instructions to me, the way is simple without overwhelming obstacles.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.

Sometimes, like Word, life is messy and needs fixing. But, I don’t have to panic when something isn’t exactly as it should be. There is room for change, and sometimes changes take a little processing and work. In the end, when the mess gets sorted, the answers and the fix aren’t as complicated as I feared, and the result is better than I expected.

This whole process reminded me of times I’ve cleaned out a closet or garage, or even when we cleaned out our overgrown jungle yard last weekend. The mess we made in the clearing out to organize seemed overwhelming and impossible, but as we worked methodically and with a steady plan, clean orderliness  revealed itself.

The good news?

My book is back on track. Anyone interested should be able to order it hopefully by next weekend.

The better news? I’ve learned so much this week. I guess once again the process was worth the pain. And isn’t that the best news there could be?

What have you learned during the writing process?