I’ve kind of been stuck on “This Fragile Breath” by Todd Agnew lately. I have known the song for a very long time and always admired the melody and his raspy voice. It flows like a ballad with overtones of a heavy rock sound. By today’s Christian music, it is a little different.
We need all of the songs to truly worship God.
We need the contemporary worships songs, the contemporary Christian, folk country, bluegrass the Black Gospel as well as the old hymns of faith. The different genres reflect our diverse community of faith.
After all, we all aren’t all like me, white and male.
We all sing the songs of faith in our own style and culture.
The Newsboys sang:
Its the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
Its the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with Gods holy fire
Its every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir
Read more: Newsboys – He Reigns Lyrics | MetroLyrics
We do everything we can in our language to offer praise to God.
The Language of Thanks
And, at this time of the year, the week of Thanksgiving, we look for something to say to offer our thanks.
Many will engage in the 30 Days of Praise Challenge. It’s a great discipline, and maybe I should have engaged that, but I usually don’t like to do what everyone else is doing, especially while it is happening. In other words, I might try that next Spring during the season of Lent.
In years past, I had a practice of listing the Top Ten Things I am Thankful for. I posted those starting at my blog College Football Top Ten which I no longer have. I’ve posted something similar at DFW Football which I also no longer have.
Now, the thought is, I have to say something here (at toddejones.net).
Sometimes, the night is too dark. I’ve been there before too.
Sometimes, we just don’t have the proper words to say to thank God.
There are plenty of ways to say thanks to God starting with a personal prayer time.
There is, of course, joining other believers in worship at church and singing songs of praise together. There is spending time with family and praying before we eat that big turkey meal and saying thanks. There is doing something for others, service or ministry.
How does one thank God without being shallow?
I think it starts with knowing the One, and who the One is, that we are giving thanks to.
In the book Job, after chapter after chapter of Job and his friends telling each other about all that is in the universe with their pathetic wisdom (just like ours!), God speaks up:
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
I think I understand what Todd Agnew was saying when he said in his song:
And I searched the world for a poem I could read
A rhyme that would bring glory to my King
But no writing I found was worthy
Of this God high above all other Gods
And what are my words compared to Yours
He understood that our feeble attempts were insufficient in the midst of God’s greatness. Our breath is, as the song says, fragile and God holds our very being in His hands.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t praise God, on the contrary, we should. We just need to know that there is nothing that compares and we should come to our praise offering, our thanksgiving, with that very attitude.
The Divine meets our humanness
Our praise, our very prayer, as my Small Group Leader said Sunday, is a meeting of the divine with our humanity. That’s a powerful thought.
Agnew continues in the chorus:
‘Cause You speak with thunder and lightning
Your voice shakes the mountains
The foundations of the earth
All I can offer is this fragile breath
And with each one I’ll praise You
With each one I’ll praise You more
Everything lines up, no?
After we understand this, we are free to thank God.
Too often, Thanksgiving, the day, is about turkey and pie (I love pumpkin pie!), cranberry sauce, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, moms and dads and Cowboys football. It is racing from one Thanksgiving meal to the next. It is a turkey induced slumber. It is planning a strategy for Black Friday.
It is entirely too easy to be caught up in things that have absolutely nothing to do with thanking God for another year of love and faithfulness, of meeting our needs, of giving us hope and peace.
How will we be thankful this year, in 2014? Here are some thoughts from Dr. Thom Rainer.
Doing something a little different, I thought I’d see what some thoughts were on Twitter.
Faith in Jesus results in powerful change and thanksgiving for His salvation.
— Dr. Matt Capps (@MattCapps) November 23, 2014
— Thrive Farmers (@thrivefarmers) November 23, 2014
— Bible Gateway (@biblegateway) November 22, 2014
— World Vision USA (@WorldVisionUSA) November 23, 2014
“This Fragile Breath” by Todd Agnew