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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Come to the Well

My favorite Christian band, Casting Crowns, released its new album this week. It is titled Come to the Well, based on the passage of the woman at the well meeting Jesus in  John 4.  I have been anxiously anticipating the release of this album and I can't wait until Christmas, when I know some loving family member (hint, hint) will get me the devotional book that goes with it (written by Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns). My favorite thing about this band is that they are ministers first and musicians next. Each and every single one of their songs has words that cut like a knife down to your soul... and they have no qualms about saying things like they are, openly criticizing the overly religious and exhorting Christians to build relationships with Jesus Christ. Check out their website... they have wonderful short video Bible studies perfect for your daily devotionals!!!

I have been engulfed in this music since its release on Tuesday morning...and I've been moved by so many of the songs! They have stayed with me even after I'm done listening and have helped me come face to face with my Lord in the quietness AND craziness of my days. As you may have read in my earlier posts, I have been going through a process of searching God's peace during a very troubling time. I am sure many of you parents of kids on the spectrum can relate to the battles we often have to fight with the school system to get our kids what they need. We are dab smack in the middle of one of those battles and my worst fear, that the little man would be the one to suffer the most from the process, has come true...but I trust that God has a plan!

Being in "the business" of public special education (and specializing in working with kids on the autism spectrum) has given me a different insight into my son's education and his needs. It has also "colored" my expectations of my son's educators, much to their dismay. As a Christian, my professional experience has not always been a good thing. I have felt like I had to control everything and make it just right for the little man at school. By bringing in specialists and by fighting and relying on my own strength I just wore myself out... and my family was paying the price (particularly my wonderful husband). I have felt physically, emotionally and spiritually torn between my duties as a mother/wife and my duties in my professional work. That has suffered, too, in my quest to get my son what he needs.

The lyrics of some of Casting Crowns' new songs like Already There, Face Down, My Own Worst Enemy, and Listen to Our Hearts have reminded me that:
1) God has the perfect long-distance view of this journey I am on and each step has a purpose in His perfect plan.
2) God is constantly there, waiting for me to "make" time for Him.
3) I don't have to force myself to find the words to say to Him in prayer. He sees my heart and knows my love for Him, even when I can't find a way to show or tell him.
4) I can't fight this fight alone. I can NOT make it on my own!
AND 5) I feel closest to God when I humble myself before Him...completely...and face down.

Last night during my quiet time with my God, He brought together in my mind images from my last post coupled with the cover of Come to the Well:
I wish I was an artist so I could depict the vivid illustration He put in my spirit. Face down in total humility before the Lord I raised my hands and physically handed Him my load. My hands were dirty and my clothes were tattered...my power, strength, experience and knowledge are just not enough!

My post now comes full-circle to why I love Casting Crowns' music so much. Their lyrics are constant reminders that we should ALL be prostrated before our Lord in the utmost reverence and humble disposition. Only by rendering ourselves to Him and giving Him our load will we be free and see that He is carrying us...and we find peace. I truly believe that Christians should spend more time in this position and less time judging others. "Jesus Friend of Sinners" is another awesome track on the album that touches my heart. Jesus did not come for the pristine churchgoers who are more like the Pharisees He chastised. He came for the sinners...those He befriended and invited into his inner circle by saying "Follow me."

But I am digressing. In closing I will leave you with the catchiest hook on the entire album. The title song reminds us to "leave it all behind and come to the well." Only when you humble yourself, hand your baggage to the Almighty and leave it behind will you be able to draw and enjoy from the well of Living Water and find your peace in the midst of this puzzle.

Have a blessed day!

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