I realize that the last few posts before the grand site makeover were kind of downers. I’ve mentioned before my struggle with depression. It makes certain stretches along the road of life feel like treks through Gloppy’s Molasses Swamp and makes me more aware of the darkness that tries to hide so carefully in the shadows of my heart.
What makes those times really tough is when the places where I normally find escape from the darkness seem only to snuff out more light. In those times I feel like I’m outside the moment, watching life play out around me, numb to it and distant from it though I’m in the middle of it.
My week of depression was finally coming to an end as Saturday quickly approached and I held hopefully to the knowledge that soon I would be at Encounter with people that I love, hearing a message of hope. Saturday came not soon enough but my expectations were unmet and I walked away that night sorely disappointed, cursing at God, “I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY!”
Still all I felt was worn.
I sat in my car, clutching the steering wheel tightly and resting my forehead on it. My shoulders slumped forward heavy from faking confidence, I reached over to turn up the music. 92.5 is the best Classic Rock station in the Dallas area and a frequent favorite of mine when I’m upset or feel especially rock star like, that night was the former.
My chest tightened as anger and emptiness tightened their grips on my heart. At the same time, my head spun with the knowledge that I had to go be strong again in just a few short minutes. I choked back the tears that I was tired of crying.
Then beautiful words hit my ears.
They didn’t come from a sermon or a worship song or even someone all that spiritual; they came from a rock and roll band.
Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more
I’ve heard Carry on my Wayward Son by Kansas about a thousand times because, let’s be honest, it’s a great song! That night it was different. That night it wasn’t just an awesome rock and roll song with some badass guitar solos; that night, it was worship.
I didn’t find what I was looking for in church that evening. The message seemed heavy on my already burdened heart and I fled for fear of having to deal with why I hated it so much. My church family, while always loving and warm, I felt distant from that night. Everyone wore smiles and I just felt alone in my gloom.
One of the truly beautiful things about God is that He is not limited by our expectations, the walls of the church, or places of spirituality. God is weaved into every stitch of the fabric of our lives. That means, for people like me, sometimes He uses rock and roll songs to get his message across.
We are so quick to see Satan corrupting things once meant for good, stealing innocence, and defiling purity. Why is it we don’t think God can make something glorious out of the secular?
I am continually surprised by how frequently God speaks to me through unexpected venues. It makes the truth of who He is so much more real to me the more limitless He proves Himself to be.
I awoke the next morning with a smile on my face and a light heart, happily at rest once again. I realized that embracing grace and following after Christ doesn’t mean you always have the answers, or even that you will always find them when you go looking. It means that God never stops pursuing you even when you feel stuck and distant. His peace and rest are always there for you even when you feel weary and in turmoil. Even though it may take us a while to hear that, He never stops telling it to us, even if that means he has to use the music that your mom says is too loud.
I am increasingly thankful for every day that passes knowing the God of grace I have so passionately fallen in love with. It is because of Him that my days of darkness, though still present, are fewer.
So, my challenge to you is this; be aware of the God of rock and roll worship. Find Him in the unexpected places. See His limitlessness. Who knows, He might just make you fall in love with Him all over again.