Thursday, February 15, 2018
"Though my heart grows weary, I never will despair."
Hymn: “He Lives” – Words and Music by Alfred Ackley (1887-1960)
I know it is odd to start off the Lenten season with an Easter hymn... but I'm pretty sure this hymnline works any time of year.
Now and then I get weary… of body mostly nowadays… but often I get weary of heart… weary of spirit. I think I am not alone in this one!
But despair? By definition, this is the complete loss of hope… the absence of optimism. Have you ever been just this side of despair? Have you ever felt that if you didn’t make some kind of radical adjustment, you might just go over the edge and tumble into hopelessness?
This hymnline allows me to make a bold statement against ever letting that out-of-control spiral happen to me. “I never will despair.” If I mean those four words when I sing them -- and I say them with confidence and commitment -- I have made a stand against the Evil One who wants to entice me toward the cliff’s edge and then nudge me over into oblivion.
Let’s all admit that we grow weary now and then… of our jobs/careers, our families, our bank accounts, our community – even our church-life. One of my favorite lines from John Grisham’s The Painted House was the lady who would have been a Baptist but she just didn’t have the energy!
We can accept weariness, but as followers of the Risen Christ, we can NOT buy in to despair.
Every now and then during the music at a revival-type service, the music leader will shout into the microphone, “Sing it like you mean it!” That always chafes me a bit because I thought I WAS! But the next time you sing this hymnline – corporately or devotionally – sing it like you mean it!
Bluesy Piano Solo… not an ounce of despair!