Driving home from our weekend visit with family last night, we were listening to my iPod on shuffle. The song “This Road” by Jars of Clay came on. It seemed appropriate since we were driving down the highway and the majority of the 4-hour trip is on one two-lane highway that runs between the Columbia River and some steep cliffs. The night was dark but the road was dry and clear. The headlights of the car lighted our way.
I’ve been pondering, as part of my Post-a-Day 2011 challenge, to dub this Music Monday. But then I thought, I already have Recipe Friday and Psalm Sunday. Maybe I shouldn’t add another constraint on what I post on a given day. But then when this song came on I knew Music Monday was what I wanted to do. I realized that some structure to this blog is a good thing. So starting today, each Monday I will pick a song (or maybe a band) to write about.
This Road by Jars of Clay
All heavy laden acquainted with sorrow
May Christ in our marrow carry us home
From alabaster come blessings of laughter
A fragrance of passion and joy from the truth
We were not heavy laden on this trip; rather we were feeling joyful after a fun-filled family gathering. We were also happy that the weather was cooperative. So often winter trips through the Columbia Gorge to eastern Washington involve snow and ice that make driving treacherous. But still this verse brought a tear to my eye thinking of the fragrance of Christ’s passion for us; a tear of joy that comes from knowing the truth, but also of sorrow from knowing that not everyone I love knows that truth, too.
Grant the unbroken tears ever flowing
From hearts of contrition only for You
May sin never hold true that love never broke through
For God’s mercy holds us and we are His own
A heart of contrition and humility is, I think, one of the hardest truths for many people to grasp as they come to Christ. But I love the prayer in this song, “May sin never hold true that love never broke through.” Our sinful nature would like us to believe that God’s love is not enough to break through and lead us to a heart of contrition. But it isn’t true! God’s love and mercy are enough to make us and hold us as His very own.
This road that we travel may it be the straight and narrow
God, give us peace and grace from You, all the day
Shelter with fire, our voices we raise still higher
God, give us peace and grace from You, all the day through
This verse reminded me of a passage in Matthew in which Jesus was talking to His disciples. He said:
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.
Many people don’t like to think about the highway to hell; they prefer to think that everyone will go to heaven. But Jesus was very clear that we must travel the straight and narrow road, and that it won’t be easy. But as we travel that road, and seek the narrow gate, He will give us peace and grace. Just as the Israelites were guided by a pillar of fire at night, so God’s refining fire will guide us to stay on the narrow road. The world would like us to think that we are missing out on so much by avoiding the broad road, but all that is there is pain and suffering without the peace and grace of God.
As you travel this road, may God give you peace and grace all the day through. May His mercy hold you for you are His own. May your heart be filled with laughter and joy from knowing the truth of Christ’s passion for you.
I am travelling the narrow road so I might as well enjoy the journey with great music. Your Music Monday can help me discover more Christian songs so go go go for it!
Rea, When I first started listening to Christian music, there wasn’t much to choose from that was in the styles of music I like. Now there are so many great Christian bands that are contemporary or rock that it will be fun to share the things I like to listen to. I was thinking I should start adding a YouTube video on Music Monday, too. Peace, Linda
I’m with you Linda. The highway to hell is real. I don’t want people going there.
Love this: “The world would like us to think that we are missing out on so much by avoiding the broad road, but all that is there is pain and suffering without the peace and grace of God.” That is so good. Thank you.
Craig, I know there is also pain and suffering on the narrow road, that it will be difficult, but at least we have God’s peace and grace to sustain us in the difficult times. Peace, Linda
This is nice!
Thank you, Linda. Thanks for adding Music Monday.
“God’s love and mercy are enough to make us and hold us as His very own.” This is an amazing truth ( reminds me of Deb’s post today http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/covered-and-carried/) Wonderful how He chooses to love, regardless.
Thanks again, for sharing this, Linda. Is Thankful Thursday on the horizon? 😉
Ann, I hadn’t thought of Thankful Thursday, but it’s a good idea. I’ll have to think about whether to add that, too, for 2011. I also like the way He works to have multiple bloggers touching on the same general idea even when we don’t realize we are doing it. Thankful for your wonderful encouragement. Peace, Linda
Thank you Linda for this beautiful post and I liked the variety you brought into the blog through Recipe Friday, Psalm Sunday and now Music Mondays…Some of the roads that we take in life are really challenging, some we have never travelled before, some very dangerous, some the familiar ones…but no matter how the road is…if He is ahead of us and we are just following His footsteps..then there is no fear…bcos..He is in control.
Rani, Yes, there is no fear if we stay on the narrow road! That is so true. Fear and worry don’t come from God, but from the enemy. When we trust that He is in control of the journey, fear is far from us. Peace, Linda
I can tell Music Mondays are going to be powerful pieces. This one has me in tears, just thinking of the way He does indeed give us grace and peace along the narrow way. We couldn’t do this without Him. I am pretty well removed from what most do . . .pretty narrow life space. But my how He has blessed it, with joy and peace, with simple things. God bless you, Linda, and all the ways He speaks through you!
Deb, Some days I wish my life was more simple, but I am where He wants me to be and on the narrow road of faith in Christ alone. Thank you, as always, for your encouragement! 🙂 Peace, Linda