Tenth Avenue North plays a song entitled “By Your Side,” which has been quite popular on mainstream Christian radio of late. It’s also been popular in my personal iTunes collection, and also the iTunes playlists of at least two of my closest friends.
The song has been on the forefront of my mind because the lyrics really speak to me, as in, directly to me and my life circumstances (if you aren’t familiar with the song, Google for the lyrics).
I too often find myself doing things out of obligation to God, and not in a good way, but a "trying to earn grace" way (first verse).
Especially as concerns romantic relationships, I've a strong history of impatience and not letting God simply be enough for where I'm at (second verse).
Even in the midst of my faith struggle, which occupied the entirety of my senior year of college, I know Jesus/God was right by my side, walking along my road as He did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (I acknowledged this even in my senior chapel speech, while I was still on that journey) - that belief is at the core of the chorus.
And drawing all these together, I constantly find myself in need of the reminder that God loves me. I know it academically, but to feel it emotionally is another matter. Therein plays the song’s bridge, and the comfort in knowing that no matter how badly I may sometimes screw up, no matter if I “get it” when it comes to so many theologically-based questions or not, God’s love is constant, and nothing I can do will change that.
Today, on my way back to work from lunch, I crooned along with the radio (as I normally do), but this time I changed the words around a little bit. There’s a danger of making songs “all about me,” but in this case, I think it’s perhaps fitting if only as that reminder to my own heart. If you’re so inclined, you might also give it a try sometime - changing the lyrics can have a profound effect on the song’s effect on your heart:
Why am I striving these days?
Why am I still trying to earn grace?
Why am I crying?
I’ll let You lift up my face
I won’t turn away
Why am I looking for love?
Why am I still searching as if You’re not enough?
To where will I go now?
Oh, where will I run?
To where will I run?
And You’ll be by my side
Wherever I fall
In the dead of night
Whenever I call
And I won't fight
These hands that are holding me
Your hands are holding me
I’ll look at these hands and your side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When You drank the world's sin
So You could carry me in
And give my life
You want to give me life
Cause You, You love me
You want me to know
That You, You love me
You'll never let me go