Out Run a Hurricane?

17 02 2010

While I was in college I spent many hours sitting at Starbucks, studying for my classes or writing my papers. It really is a great place to sit and get your work done, especially if you are so lucky as to acquire a comfy chair. The workers there are always welcoming and great to talk to on your breaks. The place became my study cove, one I shared with thousands of college students all across America.

There is one visit that I have been thinking about recently. I was there late on a Monday night, finishing up a project due the next morning. I was sitting with a group of friends at a large table, in the front corner of the room. I had my lap top open and iTunes running with Shane and Shane to fuel my progress. The project was a psalm journal for a worship theology course, a major project that I so diligently waited to start until that night. So I was blazing through the required psalms, writing what each chapter meant to me and how it affected my relationship with the Lord. It was in my haste that I wasted those opportunistic moments with Jesus. But then I came to Psalm 139.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

I remember coming to these words and feeling as if I had missed all of Scripture up until this point. I read it over and over, “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be bright,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as day, for darkness is as light with you.” Again and again.

The weight of God’s love crushed me in that front corner of Starbucks and left me with tears of gratefulness pouring down my face. There is no where in this entire universe that I can take myself to separate my life from Him. Even if I throw myself into the pits of depravity, there is still light there, there is still His love.

That night changed my life with the Lord, deepened my view into His reality. Whenever I feel myself entering into a place of dryness or apathy in worship, I think back to that moment and read those words again. The realization of God’s love inspires worship in my life.

So I have been thinking about that night this week as I prepare for a night of worship this Saturday in our ministry. I have been challenged in trying to lead our group to a similar response. In this challenge, I put together a song list of all my favorite songs to sing that night. Towards the end of that list is the song “How He Loves” popularized recently by David Crowder.

In the first verse of this song the lyrics are, “He (God)  is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his love and mercy.” I love these words! I am astonished by God’s love being ever-present and so powerfully swaying. And that astonishment is what causes people to worship. When someone realizes that God actually loves them it causes worship to happen.

Think back to Paul’s writing in Romans 12, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” And this is how we will lead our group into worship, by presenting to them the mercies of God, the love of God, how He loves us.

So I don’t know where you are as you read this post, but know this: God loves you. He loves you and there is no where you can go to escape it and nothing you can do to annul it. If you run to the ends of the earth, He is there. And if you cover yourself in darkness, He is still there. He loves you no matter where you are in life or what you’ve done…because you can’t out run the hurricane.