“And life is worth the living, just because He lives.” (From the song “Because He Lives” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither).
After singing this song in church this morning, I was motivated to share some thoughts. I feel like I have known the words to “Because He Lives” forever. As a kid, I didn’t understand the fascination that some adults seemed to have with that song. I mean, it was a nice song. Made you feel pretty good. Sounded nice from a musical standpoint. There’s a verse about a newborn baby which is sweet. But I just didn’t get why some adults got all weepy over the darn thing!
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become one of those teary-eyed adults. I get it. For anyone who has ever hit a rough patch, the words of the chorus can be a lifeline.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives.
(Can you tell which phrases hold meaning for me?!) The song that I used to think of as “nice” has become one that I cannot get through without becoming at least a tiny bit emotional. I can’t speak for others, but the emotion, for me, comes from two sources. First of all, there is the thought that his existence gives my life meaning and I need nothing other than that – “And life is worth the living just because he lives.”
But the “all fear is gone” is another one that brings tears to my eyes. Those tears are a little less happy because I know that I can sometimes hold on to my fear. I surrender to an enemy that should not have any power over me.
That phrase hit me extra hard this morning. When you have kids, you spend their childhood trying to teach them everything they need to know, the tween years discouraging them from trying to grow up too fast, the teen years just trying to find a way to communicate with them and then you watch them step toward adulthood. I’m living in that last phase. My eldest is 19 and number two child graduates this year. I occasionally suffer from a debilitating fear that I’ve left something out; that somewhere along the line, I forgot a crucial lesson and that my neglect will drive them to make bad choices. In reality, my kids are going to screw up. Every child does. They are going to make some decisions I don’t agree with and some that are downright wrong. Part of my brain knows that I cannot do anything to protect my children from ever making a wrong choice. But there is a part of my brain that shouts the sane part down. That part of my brain lives in fear of my children’s mistakes and it’s a selfish fear. I wish I could say that I fear for my children, that one of their wrong choices will have lasting consequences. The truth is, I fear that people with think that I’m a bad mom, that I failed to give my children the necessary skills and truths to live better lives. Talk about selfish!!
But the fear is unnecessary!! I don’t have to fear because Jesus lives and he loves my children more than I ever possibly could. He will work to draw them deeper into relationship with him and all I can do is be faithful to communicate to them what he calls me to communicate to them. Now if I can just remember that truth and live in it!!!