Saturday, May 18, 2013

Help Me Stand

Each song that the Lord gives me has such a special meaning and many, if not all of them, have happened at times where I needed the encouragement.  This song is super special as it was written during a time when I made a choice - and then everything around me seemed to fall apart. (Click this link to see the post)  There are some songs that while I write them just make me cry.  This was one of them.  I cried through most of the writing of it and since I also recorded it the same day....well, I was crying during that too and almost couldn't even record it!

Behind the Scenes

The chorus for Help Me Stand was written in 2008 and was quite a bit different than what was sung in the final version of the song.  In fact, while I was writing the verses, God was showing we why I needed to change the chorus.  Which was probably one of the reasons why I was crying at times!

Originally it was written this way:

I will stand, I will be strong,
Despite the challenges I just don't understand,
I will stand tall, In the sinking sand,
For I know that you'll lead me to the promise land,
I will stand.

The chorus was originally written as an affirmation, and I've sung it just that way a great many times over the years.  But as I was working on the rest of the song it was impressed upon me that it needed to be written and changed to the way it is now:

Help me stand, to be strong,

Despite these challenges I just can’t understand, 
To stand tall, In the sinking sand, 
                For I know that you’re guiding me with your mighty hand,
Help me stand. 

You see on the day that the rest of the song was given to me, my circumstances were such that I couldn't stand or be strong and no amount of saying an affirmation was going to make me feel any better!  That's when the Lord showed me that no matter how much we try to say, "I'm going to stand and be strong!" but no matter how strong we think we are it is all through his strength that we can stand and do anything at all!
The word don't changed to can't as when we say I don't understand, to me it comes from more confusion.  Whereas saying I can't understand is such a stronger word and it's said at a point where you've gone beyond trying to figure it all out and are just to the point where you say I can't understand this!

In life there are many moments when we feel like we are sinking in the sand or drowning in the water.  But during those moments we must do as Peter did and look the Jesus and cry out, "Lord, save me!"  Our Lord is always watching for when we may fall or begin to sink.  His hands are always there ready to lift you up and out of that sinking sand. (Check out Matthew 8:23-27 for Peter's story.)

Changing the part of the promise land to with your mighty hand... The promise land could be viewed as what God has in store for us.  Just as Israel was going to the promise land with Moses, so God has great wonderful things for us both on this earth and in heaven.  But I realized that as much as I desire
all the "promise land" that God has for me, it's more important that His hand be leading and guiding me through each step that I take in my life. 

4/29/2013-The Rest of the song....

While the chorus was written all the way back in 2008...this was the day that the rest of Help Me Stand was written.  I love how God brings parts of songs I wrote years ago and brings them together so well!  It just shows and reminds me that He is in control and knows so much more than I do!  And if He can do this with music...He can do it in my life as well! 

Verse One

Though the waves crash strong around me and I struggle just to stand, 

Life can very tempestuous and make you feel like it's so hard just to get out of bed much less stand and get through your day.  The feeling that everything around you is so strong and just taxes your strength.

And my heart starts to beat so fast I feel I’ll fall apart,

Those moments where fear overwhelms you so much and your heart begins to beat so fast.  Perhaps you've had a panic or anxiety attack.  They are never fun and often happen during those moments where life is too big for us to keep plodding on without help.

The temptations all around me make me fear I’ll lose my way,

 In the world today temptations are so close.  Some days all I have to do is check my facebook page to feel discontented, sad and fall into despair or depression.  That doesn't count all the other things that tempt and try to push into our minds from friends, books, the news, get the picture. When I get to feeling down or upset I feel so bad that I've allowed those things to take over and cloud my mind and focus.  Some times the temptations seem like walking through mud in thick fog...I look around and can't seem to find where I should and desire to be in my relationship with the Lord.  My biggest fear has always been that I will lose my way so badly that I won't be used of God.  But somehow He always shows mercy and brings me back!

But I know that God will lead me, So I’ll just kneel and pray.

During all the moments above where life is crashing around we must keep looking to our Lord and just praying for His strength.  It's only when our walk with Christ is strong that we can truly be victorious in our life.

Verse Two

Lord, I have so many questions and no answers come my way,
Life is such a struggle challenging my faith,

 Often I've questioned why God has allowed my life to go in the direction it has gone.  So many things just don't make sense to me.  So I ask Him, "Wouldn't it be easier if things went this way God... instead of whatever you're doing??"  Once again He doesn't strike me down with a bolt of lightening...although I still wonder if one of these days all that will be left of me is just burnt leftovers from a lightening attack....thank God that He is full of so much more mercy and grace than we could ever imagine!

I usually don't get the answers I'm looking for when I ask, sometimes in despair and sometimes in rebellion, "Why God?"  It hurts when I don't see things playing out in a way that I would view as being profitable.  My heart grows heavy with the desires left unfulfilled and longings that never seem to happen.  It is a challenge to my that I'd rather not have.  I would love to say that my faith never falters and that I stay strong in the face of the challenges.  But sadly I fall and fail far too often.

Yet you’re always there beside me holding out your hand,
Guiding, teaching, leading me towards your perfect plan.

  Once again, I thank God for His tender mercies-which are new every morning- and His grace.  Despite all my failing and short comings He is always near holding out His hand.  Such love He has for us that He never gives up, even when we do. 

I know a lot of the songs I've written deal with trials, so forgive me if as I publish more of them you see the same thing over and over; but, it is through the trials that God guides, teaches and leads us in the way He desire us to go.  It is by His grace that He gives us a free will and doesn't force us to do anything.  Yet if we trust Him to lead, He will give us the desires of our hearts and so much more.  He sees a much bigger picture than we could ever see on this earth.  I know many of you have heard of the puzzle illustration.  How when you only see one or just a few pieces of the puzzle you can't get the whole picture.  However, God sees the whole puzzle of our life. 

So often I cry, whimper, whine and stamp my little feet in frustration at what God is doing in my life.  Only to be reminded that just because I didn't get my way doesn't mean that He's not working.  God's timing is perfect and although at times it's so hard to keep that in mind, someday I will get to see the whole picture and it will all make sense.  It's just not going to happen until I get to heaven.

Verse Three

Until we get to heaven there’ll be trials in our way,
But we must stay close to Jesus for He is our stay,

This part of the song it really brings it all to a conclusion.  It is inevitable, that while on this earth we will be faced with many spiritual, mental and physical challenges, trials and stumbling blocks.  But it's only by staying close to Jesus and letting Him be our Rock and Shelter that we can face them.

When my sister heard the song for the first time, she asked, "What does Jesus being our stay mean?"  She totally thought I used "stay" in a wrong context-which I admit is very easy to think that "stay" isn't the right word usage here.  I looked it up on way I could get a definition that makes me sound smarter than I really am.....and "Stay" means:

To support, prop, or hold up.  To sustain or strengthen mentally or spiritually.
To rest on for support. To cause something to become fixed or to rest on (a support, foundation, base, etc.)

I love that definition!  It hits the nail on the head as to what Jesus does for us. 

And though I don’t deserve it He gives blessings every day,
With His mercies all around me I can kneel and pray.

It is true, we don't deserve any of the goodness God gives to us; and yet, His mercies are new each and everyday.  This alone should encourage us to kneel and pray. 

Help me stand, to be strong,

Despite these challenges I just can’t understand, 
To stand tall, In the sinking sand, 
                For I know that you’re guiding me with your mighty hand,
Help me stand.
Keep pressing on!

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