Monday, March 26, 2012

He is Jealous for Me

I am firm believer that God brings you what you need to hear, when you need to hear it: a stranger saying they'll pray for you, a sermon spoken directly to your heart, a bit of advice about one situation that really applies to a different one you're in, and yes, even songs on the radio. And if the words spoken aren't new to us, then I believe God gives us the ears to hear something new within something old. Because all of the people behind these gifts are just earthly messengers carrying a Greater Message.

Have you ever noticed how a song you've heard a hundred times before can take on new meaning when life finds you in a new place? Even a song you've loved before can become something entirely new. That happened to me today, driving down the interstate. The song starts, "He is jealous for me" and suddenly I was transported from, "oh man, I'm running late for my appointment" to straight up humility. Lately I've been jealous of a peer's accomplishments, of a co-worker's opportunities, of a friend's happiness, of a loved one's attention directed toward someone and something beyond me. But oh, God is jealous for me.

A few months ago, Amy Vogel wrote that in human relationships, jealousy stems from an innate desire to be loved. Things go wrong when one person is looking to the other to provide all the love they need.  I can run on empty desperately trying to find validation and completion from another person. But sh*t happens, and every relationship needs redefining. 

When I seek fulfillment in another person or title or achievement, it's all in vain. Only God can provide fulfillment. When I covet another person's time and attention, God is jealous. He's jealous of my idols and my walls and my avoidance. 

I got homed and looked into this song a bit more. The version I heard was by the David Crowder Band, but the original lyrics were actually written and sung by John Mark McMillan. I found an interview in which he talks about writing the song after his best friend died. He says, 
"This song isn't a celebration of weakness and anger. It's a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us through those things, who would want to be a part of our lives through those things. And despite who we are he wants to be a part of us, and a part of our community, and a part of our family." 
In short, this song is straight-up worship formed out of breaking. And it is beautiful. God is not offended by anger or bitterness. Oh, what a love.

How He Loves
by John Mark McMillan

He is jealous for me
Love like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions, eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

Yeah He loves us
Oh how he loves us

We are His portion
And He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
So heaven meats earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us

Oh how he loves us
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us

I thought about you
The day Stephen died
And you met me between my breaking
I know that I still love you God
Despite the agony
See people they want to tell me you're cruel
But if Stephen could sing
He'd say its not true
'Cause your good

'Cause He loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves

Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves 

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