28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Today marks the finale to our series of First 15s called "Heart Songs." I have had a blast sharing some of my favorite music and pieces of my world. If you've been with me all week, we've journeyed through roughly 30 years of music, and I thank you for spending some time with me. I hope it's been helpful and that you've enjoyed the ride. The party is ending, for now, so let's end on a good note. One of my all-time favorites is "Thank You" by Walter Hawkins. I can hardly hear this song without having some type of visceral response. I feel this one in my bones. Check it out, and feel free to stop me around campus and tell me what you think.
Check it out here.
I love the music, but more than anything else, the message of the song speaks to me. "It could have been me, outdoors with no food and no clothes, or left alone, without a friend, or just another number with a tragic end. But you didn't see fit to let none of these things be [because] every day by your power You keep on keeping me. And I want to say thank you, Lord, for all you've done for me."
I have seen my fair sets of challenges. I've endured more loss than I care to recount and seen bleak moments that could send most over the edge. As the Harlem Renaissance poet and social activist once wrote in his poem Mother to Song, "Life for me ain't been no crystal stair." Yet, every single step of the way, God has kept my family and me. I'm not saying what I heard. I'm telling you what I know. God is a way-maker. It easily could've been me in the bridge of this song—left alone with nothing, but God saw fit to keep me.
If we were standing together at this moment, you'd have to excuse me. It's too hard for me to keep my peace at these kinds of moments. God had been good to me, and it hasn't been because I earned or deserved such kindness. God has been good because God's nature is good. God is love, and everything God does, God does from God's essence—love. When doors have been open, God's been good. When doors have been closed, God's been good. When I've suffered loss, God's been good. When I've had my greatest victories, God's been good. There's not been a single moment in my life where the grace of God has not covered me, kept me, or created a way out of no way, for me.
I'm merely testifying here, and maybe you can or can't relate. In either case, this should be cause for celebration for you too. God can and will do the same for you. Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that every day will feel good, but I just believe that even then, God is working out things for good. I believe that! For that reason alone, God is worthy of our trust, our devotion, and our praise. Thank you, Lord, for all you've done for me.
God, thank you. Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done for me. Thank you that despite your awareness of my faults, you meet me at the point of my needs. Thank you for a love that knows no limits and for never giving up on me. Help me to love as you love, and to remember all the works of your hands in my life. With joy, gratitude, and love, I pray. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.