The Always/Never Playlist

One chilly Sunday evening back in December 2012, I was talking to my dear friend, Beth, outside of the church in which we grew up.  I was crying, not because I was sad or unhappy, but because I couldn’t believe where I was standing.  It should have been impossible, but God worked through every single circumstance in my life to bring me to that place – a place I thought I would never be again – and I was just realizing it.  Beth just looked at me and said, “Never once and not for a moment.”  (Titles of songs by Matt Redman and Meredith Andrews, respectively).

Over the past two weeks, I have had something unexpected come up in my life.  It changes things, or at least, it has the potential to change things.  I look at the havoc it’s brought about in just the past week, and I think, “If this is where I am now, there is no way I’m making it to Seattle in five months.”  And I start feeling like maybe that’s not where God wants me after all.

This past Sunday, my pastor was sharing Thomas’ story from John.  Doubting Thomas.  They wrote a Sunday school song about him, you know:  “Why worry, when you can pray? Trust Jesus, He’ll be your stay.  Don’t be a doubting Thomas, Trust fully on His promise.  Why worry, worry, worry, worry, when you can pray?” I always felt guilty as a kid when I would sing this song, being as anxiety-prone as I was (okay, am) and having the last name Thomas. I once heard a preacher say that you never hear anything about Thomas after the book of John, and God knows I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Anyway, my pastor’s point was that Jesus meets us in our doubt, but all I heard God saying to me Sunday morning was, “How many times have we been over this Seattle thing? Don’t you know Me at all? Stop doubting and believe.”

Stop doubting and believe.

I mean, yeah, I want to, but…

Stop doubting and believe.

Herein lies the benefit of a never/always playlist: listening to these songs I remember God has always come through for me, at just the right moment. Never once and not for a moment has God left me on my own.  What should be a total mess in my life because of my own sin and other broken people, God has always restored.

And since that’s true, He’s not going to leave me hanging this week or this month or even five months from now.

“Oh, my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through

~Kristian Stanfill, Always

“After all

You are Constant

After all

You are only good

After all

You are sovereign

Not for a moment

Will You forsake me.”

~Meredith Andrews, Not for a Moment

“I know You’re for me

And You’re restoring

Every heartache and failure

Every broken dream

You’re the God who sees

The God who rescues me

This is my story.”

~Britt Nicole, All This Time

“Scars and struggles on their way

But with joy our hearts can say –

Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone

Never once did You leave us on our own

You are faithful, God.”

~Matt Redman, Never Once

“All of my life

In every season

You are still God

I have a reason to sing

I have a reason to worship.”

~Hillsong, Desert Song

“The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.”

~Isaiah 58:11 NIV

What songs would YOU add?