[Word count: 879. Approximate read time: 3-4 minutes]
Sade’s “By Your Side” is my ideal love song.
Even while writing God and the Silent Treatment, I remembered its lyrics are one answer to the forlorn, abandoned questions posed in Jars of Clay’s “Silence.” Often when romance is exaggerated in love songs, it becomes something men and women are incapable of giving. However, the faithful love described in “By Your Side” is very godlike. It doesn’t take a great leap to relate it to scripture.
“You think I’d leave your side, baby? You know me better than that.”
Doubting God may be engrained in my analytical nature. I almost always need God to mock my unbelief and cite our history. “Do you really think I’d abandon you? C’mon. You may be unsure about many things, but you know that you at least know that.”
I’m like one of those kids who goes into histrionics whenever a parent leaves their sight. Mom or dad has to come back and calm the kid down: “Have I ever left you? Don’t I always come back? Don’t you know how much I love you?”
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” —John 14:18
“Think I’d leave you down when you’re down on your knees? I wouldn’t do that.”
One of the first scriptures I ever understood in the Bible was Psalm 50:15: “And call on me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you, and you will praise me.” Just call and you’ll come? That was all I needed. When we’re at our lowest points is often when it is easiest to access God. From that, I learned that if I just say the name of Jesus that alone is a valid prayer. He promises to help me if I call on him when in trouble.
“I’ll tell you you’re right when you want…”
This line is tough, because clearly it’s not in God’s character to tell us we’re right when we’re wrong. That ain’t gon’ happen. But what he does do is justify us (aka “make us right”).
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” —Romans 5:9
It’s not that he calls right what’s clearly wrong. It’s that he covers our wrong in forgiveness and redemption so that we can stand as “those who are right” even after we have done, said, or thought what’s wrong.
“If only you could see into me…”
Have you ever tried to describe agony or ecstasy, but couldn’t find sufficient words to convey it? God must feel like that all the time trying to get us misguided offspring onto the same page with his master plan.
“…We speak wisdom… yet not the wisdom of this age… we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory… But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” —1 Corinthians 2:6-7, 9
“Oh, when you’re cold, I’ll be there
Hold you tight to me…”
“He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…” —Psalm 91:4 (NIV)
“When you’re on the outside, baby
And you can’t get in…”
“For Christ himself has brought peace to us… he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” —Ephesians 2:14 (NLT).
“I will show you you’re so much better than you know.”
Dealing with self-esteem issues, it’s become the norm to undervalue myself, minimize my accomplishments, and then wonder why I feel so bad. Part of Romans 12:3 says “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,” but that does imply you ought to think highly of yourself at least somewhat.
“You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame you shall have double honor…” —Isaiah 61:6-7
“When you’re lost and you’re alone
And you can’t get back again
I will find you, darling
And I’ll bring you home.”
I feel like an Alzheimers’ sufferer sometimes often. I lose sight of who I am, where I’m from, and what I’m supposed to be doing. Someone who loves me usually needs to come find me, call me by my name, sigh, shake their head, put me in the car, and bring me back home.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” – Luke 15:4-6a (NIV)
“And if you want to cry, I am here to dry your eyes.
And in no time you’ll be fine.”
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…” —Revelations 21:4
There are worlds of detail about God that I in my humanness cannot begin to understand. It’s unreasonable to try. And though I still wonder about all the things I wonder about… at least the things I know, I know.
Related Articles on Junkyard Salvation:
- Nothing Can Come Between Us: how another Sade song helps strengthen my faith when my walk with Christ gets rough.
- Not Enough, but Compared to What?: here’s why I constantly need God to show me I’m better than I know.
- Love at First Sight, but Not Second: a quick musing about love and art.
- Why I Believe In God: Here’s my testimony of the first time God found me and brought me home.
- Like a Child: Here’s what my histrionics look like now that I’m an adult.