Bad theology leads to heartache. Heartache led to good theology applied, brings healing. My friend and long time backing vocalist in music I have recorded, Cindy Gibbs, has written a song that reminds me of this whole matter. Cindy calls it, “Break Me.” In her song she speaks of a smile that hides the pain. But then her lyrics leads us to see the freedom that comes to the one in the song as her openness to God’s grace and His atonement on the cross leads to freedom and joy. That is good theology. In fact, that is just plain old good Bible! I hope she releases that song soon. But the early composition that I saw got me to thinking.
There are bad ideas circulating today that somehow the believer should be living a life that is immune from the ordinary pains and sorrows of life. Those ideas come from many places but not the Bible. The mask that Cindy writes about is something we all identify with, and yet it is not what the Bible reveals as truth. In Psalm 34, such as, David openly speaks of his own pain and sorrow. Yet out of this brokenness and tragedy, which he endured with the hostility from those who sought his life, the sweet Psalmist of Israel wrote:
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
Oh how I love that. For there are many things in my life for which I should be ashamed. My own sins, others’ sins, and the sometimes-faithful-sometimes-not pattern of following the Lord in this old world leaves me feeling less than the model Christian! But the truth is, any radiance, any beauty and any good thing comes from Christ Jesus. Yet it all begins with a cry for help. That is when the radiance begins to break forth:
“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34.6).
Your invitation today is not to buckle up and do better. Your challenge is not to hope for the best and go on. Your greatest test is not to see how well you can do. Your invitation is to simply cry out to the Lord and bring your burdens to Him. Let Him paint the canvas of your life in a new color, a crimson color, that covers you with atoning pardon and sealing grace. Your invitation is to smile again because there is One, who despite your pain, still says to people like David, people like you and me,
“Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
It all begins with being broken enough to cry out. It all begins with singing, “break me.” From there, Christ’s healing begins to flow.
The following devotional was written to accompany a musical composition by Cindy Gibbs, “Break Me,” © 2011 Cindy Gibbs Music. See facebook.com/cindygibbsofficial
- My Portion Forever (thirdmill.org)