I was thinking about writing a post about a song that they played at Bible Study this morning. Then I clicked the “Inspire Me” button below the empty text box and this prompt came up: “Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.” I think it’s meant to be!
(And no, “Casey Jones” is no longer stuck in my head.)
“Blessed Be Your Name” is my favorite praise song – originally by Matt Redman, it came out around 2005 and was very popular during my college years. Whenever I hear it now, I have a “yay!” moment because the song always speaks to me. Not only is the song musical and catchy but the lyrics are beautiful. This song talks about how important it is to praise God during the good times AND the bad. Many praise songs are about falling in love with Jesus; this song is about the long-term relationship and walking with Him even in hard times.
“Blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful, where the streams of abundance flow… when the sun’s shining down on me, when the world’s all as it should be, blessed be your name.” We praise God, we are thankful, when life is going smoothly, when things are easy (or easier). And he does give us so many blessings, to enjoy, to revel in.
But that’s not the end of the story! “Blessed be your name, when I’m found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness… on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name.” Because in this life we will have, and do have trouble. And he is there with us too, and we praise him even in the midst of pain and hardship.
I remember walking into church late one morning when I was going through a tough time, feeling far from God because of sin, and these words reminded me that He was still there, calling me back to relationship.
There’s the chorus: “Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise, and when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say – blessed be the name of the Lord.” In good times or bad, we praise him. And the bridge: “You give and take away, you give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name.”
I love that “my heart will choose to say” – because it is a choice! Sometimes God gives, and we love it; sometimes he takes away and we are devastated, but our response is our decision.
This song reminds me of Job, happy, prosperous, proud of his large and cheery family, devout and obedient. In that time, I’m sure he was the prosperity gospel’s #1 example. Suddenly within a few weeks he loses his wealth, his health, and his family. His wife tells him to curse God and die (doesn’t sound very supportive.) His friends blame it all on him. But he chooses to call out to God even in the midst of misery and despair.
In tough times, when the darkness closes in, I can choose to call out to God, to reach for His arms to comfort and hold me. Or I can try to rely on my own strength and inevitably fall. Instead, He will restore us, like he restored Job’s fortune and redeemed his struggles. The Lord will lift us up on eagle’s wings.
(Wait, that’s another song)…
In the hardest moments of my life, this song has been a comfort and a reminder to me that He is there, loving me through everything. And even when all is well in my world, “Blessed Be Your Name” can choke me up and put tears in my eyes.
Does anyone else have a song like that?