"How Sweet the Name of Jesus"
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believers ear
it soothes his sorrows,
heals his wounds, and drives away his fear
It makes the wounded spirit whole
and calms the troubled breast
tis manna to the hungry soul,
and to the weary rest
Dear Name the Rock on which I will
my shield and hiding place
my never failing treasury fill
with boundless stores of grace
Jesus, my Shepard, brother, friend,
my prophet, priest, and king
my Lord, my Life, my Way, my End
accept the praise I lend
A couple of you know that we recently have been attending a different church, and truthfully it's been so refreshing, something I didn't even know I needed. Isn't it funny (or amazing) how God can even use our anger, and ill-guided intentions to draw us to Himself?! You probably have no clue to what I'm referencing, but just know that my intentions were not totally pure when seeking out a new church. But God used even the worst of my motives to gently bring me in, again.
The June 1st sermon was merely entitled "Worship", and in it Gary Purdy made a statement something to the effect that part of our worship is to stand naked in the eyes of God and let Him wash over us with his love and grace. Now, standing naked anywhere, even in front of my husband, is not a comfortable thing for me. But the picture is to stand in front of an Almighty, All-knowing God, bearing all our sin, and allow Him to receive us with grace, being washed clean because He wants to. He wants to heal us, wants to comfort us, wants to give us rest.
These thoughts have been resounding over and over in my head for the past 2 weeks(mainly the naked part) since I heard that sermon, which by the way you can download to an MP3 here. I can't get over the uncomfortableness of standing naked before a Holy God. That's so uncomfortable to show ALL my weakness, ALL my failures and then asking for forgiveness. I do so much to cover up my pain, my imperfections, just the fact that I hate to admit it when I'm wrong tells you how stubborn and prideful I am. So standing naked before a Holy and Just God is not some thing I really like the idea of doing.
But these last weeks, I've also really been struggling with my post-pregnancy body, hating myself and the way I look, hating to have to get into a swimsuit, but also little things like other blogs reminding me that I still hurt. I still grieve. I'm anxious and paranoid,lay awake at night in fear, and right about now I'm sure I'm sounding pretty "mental" (to steal from Ron Weasley). But it's true. All secret things that I'd like to hide, yet my "spiritual act of worship is to present myself as a living sacrifice to my Holy God" (loosely quoting Rms. 12:1) In doing so, I'm to stand before Him naked, bearing all my sin, my paranoid thoughts, my anxious tendencies, my irrational fears, my self-loathing, and my deep deep hurts. I've gotta lay it all out there, and let Him heal me. And the cool thing? That somehow is MY act of worship, to allow HIM to do this for me.
And that's where the song comes in. How Sweet the name of Jesus! That He stands in my place, takes the punishment for my sins, heals my hurts, understands my sorrow, brings me rest, and loves me more than any person can. How Sweet! Somehow that doesn't make my vulnerabilities seem as scary, or standing before Him so daunting. He's already loved me enough to stand in my place. I don't stand alone, but with Christ not just beside me but in front of me taking the guilt of my sin. I can just cower in His shadow as He approaches God for me. I can hide myself in Him, like a little kid who knows they did wrong and is shaking in the corner, afraid of punishment. Jesus is my corner, where I can go and hide, and instead He takes the punishment for me. He's the scape goat, and I just receive the benefits. The grace, the mercy that are so freely given. So it's with the confidence that I find in Him, that I stand. A confidence that knows I'm forgiven, knows that He knows my thoughts, my needs, my pain, and gives me rest. And I need it daily. I need Him every hour, because it's not easy. That confidence to stand in Christ is not something that is easy for me, but I know it's true. I know His message is true, and I know that He won't fail me even though I continue to fail Him. His love for me never ends. How Sweet the name of Jesus! He knows what I'm going through, and loves me all the still. O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
*Note: I did not write that song, I listened to it on my CD player 5 gabillion times trying to get the lyrics right. It's a praise song, and probably adapted from a hymn, that I listen to frequently. Since I don't have a playlist, I thought I'd just type it out for ya. I don't know any copyright laws, but I'm not trying to steal it. Just using it as a reference and as refreshment for me. I'm sure you understand.