Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Because He Lives

This past weekend, I had the chance to do something I had wanted to do for many years. Lynn and I went with some very good friends to see the Gaither Homecoming Tour in Columbia. It was a great night of worship music. Many of the songs we heard that night were ones I had not heard in years. The program lasted for four hours, and we were all tired by the time it was over, but truly blessed.

It was a treat to actually see the man who wrote so many of the songs I grew up hearing and singing. Four of these are actually in our Baptist Hymnal. There’s Something About That Name, The King is Coming, The Family of God, and my favorite, Because He Lives. Something Beautiful, He Touched Me, It Is Finished, and Let's Just Praise The Lord, are examples of some of his other inspired works that are not in our hymnal, but are standards in Christian music.

One of the stories he told Friday night was about the song, Because He Lives. In 1969, Bill and Gloria Gaither were expecting their third child. Their firstborn, Suzanne, was four, and her sister Amy was three months old. The timing for another baby wasn't ideal since Gloria hadn't fully recuperated from Amy's birth. On top of that, Bill contracted mononucleosis. Health concerns weren't the only issues the couple faced: a recent divorce in the family and a rift with a close friend weighed on their minds. Another friend's strong prayer support gave the Gaither’s hope.

About six months later, Bill's dad, George, beckoned the couple into the middle of their office parking lot which had just been newly paved the previous fall. There, a single blade of grass had broken through the blacktop. Against the odds, life triumphed!

In July, a healthy baby, Benjamin, was born. Soon after, Because He Lives poured out of Bill's grateful heart beginning with the words;

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives!

What uncertainty are you facing today? Are you wondering how you are going to pay those bills? Maybe your health is failing and you have no idea how you are going to make it through this time. Is your marriage far less exciting than you had hoped it would be? Perhaps you have lost a job, or you are in fear of the layoffs at your place of employment.

No matter what your circumstances are, you are not alone. Even if it seems the whole world has left you behind and has forgotten about you, Jesus cares. Not only does He care, but He is right there every step of the way. He may be hard to see and hear in the clatter of daily life, but He is there, waiting to wrap His love around you. All you have to do is call His name, ask Him to come into your life and heart, and He will meet you in your storm.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; There's just something about that name!
Master, Savior, Jesus, Like the fragrance after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Let all heaven and earth proclaim;
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there's something about that name!
William J. Gaither

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. John 14:19

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