2Thessalonians 3:3: But the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen and guard you from the evil one. (HCSB)
Isaiah 41:10: Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
My nephew and I were recently chatting over coffee about church songs and how the words are sometimes misunderstood. When he was about three years old, he went through a period when getting him to church involved much force and many tears. After extensive investigation by his parents, it was discovered that he had seriously misunderstood what one of the hymns suggested he needed to do to have Christ in his life! In his case, since he was too young to read, he misunderstood because of the way the words were being pronounced. Sometimes we misunderstand because of pronunciation – we’ve all heard of Glad Lee, the cross-eyed bear and of course heard people sing “Andy walks with me; Andy talks with me”. Sometimes we misunderstand because we just don’t listen to the words. I have been in worship services and seen people raise their hands and sometimes even close their eyes in worship while singing “test me and try me”. Come on, really? You really want to be tested and tried? NOT ME!! I wonder what You must think, Lord. We sing with all our might asking to go through trials and be tested but whine, pout, and throw tantrums when the smallest obstacle comes our way. We sing “don’t move the mountain” but complain when our path brings us to a hill or even a small bump in the road. We sing about falling and getting back up when in reality we scream “why me, Lord?” with all our might when we stub our toe on obstacles WE created! I would rather sing about being wrapped tight and covered in Your hand until the storm is over! I would vote for singing “protect me” over “test me” any day! But I know that no matter what happens in my life, I can sing with confidence about your faithfulness. Trouble will come into our lives – sometimes through other people’s bad decisions, sometimes through our own bad decisions. Thomas S. Monson is quoted as saying “The principles of living greatly include the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, trial with humility”. I thank You for the promise in Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Lord, I still like the idea of a smooth journey over being tested and tried, but I know I don’t need to fear the troubles ahead because You will help me, You will give me strength, and You will always hold my hand.