– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, the cross pictured above is the one which stood on the chancel as we worshiped on Easter Sunday. Isn’t it beautiful, the draping, the white lilies? The church was full for we had many visitors. It was joyous! For the first song or two, I occasionally glanced at the cross, fully enjoying the music, the voices, the celebration. HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN INDEED!
When we began singing Chris Tomlin’s – At the Cross, I glanced at the cross again. This time, in my mind’s eye, there was no pretty draping, no flowers. It was no longer a lovely sight. For Jesus still hung there, beaten and bleeding.
As we sang the words:
“There’s a place where mercy reigns and never dies.
There’s a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide.
Where all the love I’ve ever found comes like a flood flowing down,”
My eyes ran down the cross to the ground where I found myself lying in the dirt, curled up like a child, with eyes on Jesus. I was covered in sin.
We sang on:
“At the cross, at the cross, I surrender my life.
I’m in awe of You. I’m in awe of You.
Where Your love ran red and my sin washed white.
I owe all to You, I owe all to You.”
Christ’s sacrifice which washed repentant sinners white – became in mind’s eye even whiter than the morning’s lilies. I laid on the ground, looking up at Jesus, in awe of Him, with a greater appreciation for what He had done than I could ever before recall.
I grew up having never heard my mother sing, for she never did. She was tone deaf. When young, and in school Christmas programs, Mother was put in the back row, and told not to sing. While growing up in church, I always sang quietly just in case I was also lacking in musical ability.
Over the years, as my love for God has grown, I can’t help but sing out. I do try to direct my voice so that it, hopefully, will not disturb anyone. But this Easter, with a new appreciation for the depth of Christ’s sacrifice, I sang out like only once before. I just could not help it. And to my surprise, for those moments, it seemed that God was gifting me with a voice.
“Here my hope is found, here on holy ground.
Here I bow down, here I bow down.
Here arms open wide, Here You saved my life.”
To my surprise, the more powerfully I sang, the more beautiful the sound. The voice, which seemed not my own, gloriously praised the Lord. The last verse was:
“I owe all to You, I owe all to You.”
On our drive home my husband mentioned the music. “You were really hitting those hit notes.” I replied, “I know. When have I ever been able to do that?”
Midweek, with Easter worship still on my mind, I heard Pastor Chuck Swindoll say on his radio program, Insight for Living, “The One who loves you most, knows you best.” I thought, and He was still willing to pay the debt for our sins. Isn’t that something? It is, isn’t it?
“He (Jesus) has now reconciled you… in order to present you before
(God) holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Colossians 1:22
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