This. Song.

Writers Shane and Shane had no idea that this song would wrap itself around the hurting heart of my twelve-year-old son just days after the loss of his dad. But envelop, it did.

Like. A. Warm. Blanket.

Jeffrey Michael began singing this on constant repeat from the ministry house. It continued and echoed through our move and throughout the “letting go’s and moving into’s,” while making our 1924 new-to-us bungalow we call Writer House, a home.

shroyer3-40Our “On Deck Conversations” have been rich and full since the spring, as we have had to trust in God’s Hand-at-Work, even when it’s hard. We have looked to others who willingly sought and ardently followed God through trials even greater than ours. As Jeffrey Michael and I had discussions about Job’s affliction and his heart’s abandon to the Sovereign Almighty in spite of his circumstance, and as we read of the sweat drops of blood that spilled in Christ’s time of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane… well, we found tremendous comfort in our own smaller path through suffering.

On the other side of suffering, God brings about the Glorious. He is God. We are not. We praise Him high above the trial.

A few days before we would be heading to Atlanta to start working on this music project, I was preparing us to lead worship at a fundraiser event for a local crisis pregnancy center. I heard the kids in the other room singing this song as a duet — J. Michael playing his ukulele with a slow swing, moving tempo. Sadie naturally and sweetly lifting a higher harmony like a pro.

I was undone.

Thank You, Jesus, for filling my children with a trust in You that allows them to wrap their confidence around such big thoughts and words.

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If you ask J. Michael to name one song that carried him through this season more than any other, he will name this one by Shane and Shane.

I wondered how Jeff, Cheryl, and the session players would respond when we put this song on the consideration table, especially with the leading of the song coming from my kids rather than from me. Big concepts are written into these lyrics that even many seasoned believers have a hard time wrapping their faith around.

We all listened to the song file as led by the worship writers, and I could see some questioning facial expressions when hearing lines like, “Though You ruin me” being sung. Then Cheryl said, “Hey, JMan; bring in your ukulele, and you and Sadiella sing this for us just like you do at home, will you?”

They began to play, and a hush fell over the room.
There was no question.
This had to be expressed.
And they absolutely had to lead it.

In all of my years spent writing on the topic of kids in worship for record labels like Integrity! Music, Lifeway, Brentwood-Benson, and a few others, I encouraged leaders to seek opportunities for the power of worship to be expressed through the hearts of kids.

But THIS moment — right here in the studio, and THIS song right here — with the undeniable genuineness that I have witnessed these two young God-followers accept and express…
THIS drove in evermore deeply my passion to encourage ALL parents, leaders, adults, and believers to do EVERYTHING possible to instill real faith — rooted DEEPLY — into the hearts of the young.

Life’s hard times call for it; so it needs to begin growing well in a daily life BEFORE it is required to nurture – even sustain – life itself.

I had a difficult time selecting an image to match this song. I chose our family standing our feet firmly on “The Prayer Rock” from the ministry property. We frequented that special location in times of significance. But it was in our day-to-day one-foot-before-the-other faith walk, that the Rock of Jesus Christ was being established in the heart-solid foundations of our kids. Now that Michael’s feet have taken flight to His place in eternity, we continue to stand firmly on the Foundation — The Rock that holds our lives and futures secure.

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It is in that security that two kids, now thirteen and nine, can sing this song. And mean it. I’ve watched as J. Michael has led his sister with purpose. When I was pregnant, he used to say, “I will have a sister, and when I’m bigger, she will sing and I will play the guitar while she sings.” For today, they are learning the art of leading each other with love. Mike is smiling, I’m sure.

Today, may this minister to you as much as it continues to minister to me.

I will close out this post with a few humble words from Job to The Sovereign:

“I know that you can do everything
and that your plans are unstoppable…
You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak.
I will ask you, and you will teach me.’
I had heard about you with my own ears,
but now with my own eyes, I have seen you.

(phrases from Job’s prayer of surrender in Chapter 42)

Because we receive understanding by living in humble surrender THROUGH our circumstances, then just like Job, may we choose to bless God and not curse Him; may we trust that understanding will come in time; may we see Him with our own eyes and offer Him highest (even broken) praise.

And of course, they are still very much, siblings…

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Full Song Lyrics

I come, God, I come
Return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might be known in Your suffering

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

My heart and my flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still all that I need
‘Cause You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need
Sing a song to the One who’s all I need