Restore my soul

This song began life as a result of a mountain top (for want of a better word) rant at God. I had been feeling pretty low for some time and needed to vent some frustration at him which, I can imagine you thinking, was a bit arrogant and disrespectful. But I think there are enough Psalms and other parts of Scripture which show this to be something that God understands and, perhaps, even encourages if it means we are being honest with him. I believe he blesses such openness and does respond with grace and mercy. That was certainly true in my case as he put my grievances in perspective and reminded me of his unfailing and steadfast love and compassion for me, despite all my failures and inadequacies.

So, as Psalm 23 explains, he will restore our souls … if we but ask …

When there’s darkness all around,
when I walk on stony ground,
when upon my knees I fall

and I make that final call ...

Lord, restore my soul.
Lord, restore my soul.
Restore my soul.

When I feel so very tired,
when my worship’s uninspired,
when I lose my sight of you

and I doubt the things you do ...

Lord, restore my soul ...

When I long for heaven’s rest,
when I think I’ve done my best,
when there’s more you ask from me

and I cry, “O, let me be!” ...

Lord, restore my soul

(c) 2020 Graham Oakes

Hearing, listening and doing …

I’ve just come across this song on YouTube and found it compelling but it also raised a few questions.

The clear message from Riba McIntire, an american gospel singer, is that, to solve all the problems we are facing, we need to give the world back to God. The problems appear  limited in the song to loss of children, race relations and addiction but the principle is extendable.

The song is perhaps necessarily emotional but I think it sensitively relates the tensions that exist within families and communities. It lives up to the Gospel genre but can it be taken seriously?

Giving this world back to God is a big ask … assuming that we believe he exists in the first place and still wants it!

Music is a powerful medium for message but it carries the risk of the medium lasting longer than any effect of content (but at least here the words are clear and straight).

For me, I would hope that those involved in the video production believed in the message. I also hope that it succeeds in challenging our responses to the negative directions we are travelling in; the reality of our common humanity and need of each other and how we can begin to give the world back to God.

Perhaps it needs to start with me giving my personal and private world, my pride and prejudice, my strengths and weaknesses, my hopes and fears and my achievements, disappointments and regrets back to him.

Thank you Reba for the song and thank you God for giving me back so much.