On our last home assignment, when I felt dismembered and displaced, God put me back together through some precious songs, especially one that reminded me of who he says I am. While our dear friend Will has offered us the prayer that, “May this return be as good as that one was bad,” we are also conscious of setting realistic expectations. CMS tells us that “the hardest thing you do in your missionary career is to come ‘home’.”
Already, I feel myself tottering as the mountains fall into the sea, and so I am formulating a playlist of God as my refuge and strength. Here are some of the songs on the list.
For every soul in every need, Michael Van Patter, from the Cardiphonia album Hymns of Faith
Whom have we, Lord, in heaven, but Thee
Like ships, safe moored on stormy sea
Our souls in peril, with Thee there
Find anchorage of hope and prayer
Arthur sings this to us during our evening liturgy before the boys go to sleep. It’s the bit about anchorage that gets me: as we lose our home and stability, the Three in One is these things to us.
All your works are good (Psalm 104), from Psalms by Sandra McCracken
This song moves from God’s providence in creation to how he is also involved in our lives:
He knows our every burden
When darkness veils our eyes
He comes with spring returning,
Bringing death to life
It’s so important for me to remember that when all seems dark to me, still God is making all things new. What feels like an ending may be a new beginning. He is good and he is doing good things.
Goodness of God, sung by Jenn Johnson, from Bethel’s Victory album.
I know Bethel is controversial in some circles, but I find it challenging to believe that what God is taking us through is part of his goodness to us, so I need to be reminded that:
Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me.
I love how this song moves to speak of surrender. It’s not scary to give everything to our God because of who he is. I listened recently to Dane Ortlund’s Gentle and Lowly in which I was reminded again and again how small my view is of the extravagance of Christ’s love for me.
Is he worthy?, by Andrew Peterson, from Resurrection Letters Vol.1
While the whole album is extraordinary, this song, in a series of questions and answers much like a liturgy, looks pain and darkness right in the face and stubbornly confesses that it is still true that the Father loves us, the Spirit moves among us and Jesus our Messiah holds forever those he loves.
Elliot and I have also recently read Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga which dances with similar themes.
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.
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