When Words Fail (Be Still and Know)
I wrote a song a while back while in Canmore in the Canadian Rockies. It’s my favorite place on Earth. A place where my breath is literally taken away, where I would look and see something my Father created and be just shocked at the beauty and gasp. Speechless.
The song is simple and conveys a simple thought:
I can never find a way, I can never find the words
I’m tripping on my tongue to say how I need you
I’m looking for a song to sing, feelings that I can’t explain
Searching for the language to describe what no heart can contain
And I, I love you more than I can sing
And I, I stand in awe before my King
I was trying to express that words just fall short in worship. It's difficult to clothe your feelings, the awe you sense of God, with words. We search for language to clothe what we feel and sometimes, like when we are trapped in grief or when we are blown away by the majesty of God, all we can come up with is a heart wrenching groan or a gasp and that is prayer enough for a loving Father.
You search for the language to describe what no heart can comprehend but fall short. There's just not much to say. I’ve had moments in worship times when confronted by the majesty of God, the words of Isaiah echo in your mind - "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
The awe of being before your maker. The dread of having your sin become abnormal in the presence of a holy God as opposed to normal in the presence of your fellow, fallen humanity. You’re suddenly aware of holiness. You’re aware of majesty. You’re aware of how small you are and how big He is and that as the heavens are so high above the earth, His ways and thoughts are higher than yours.
This is the miracle of the ages, that Jesus died on a cross and shed his blood for the remission of our sins and that we have permission to boldly enter into the Holy of holies, into the most holy place, into the presence of our maker. Our relationship is restored. And just to take it a step further and really blow our minds, he asks us to be his hosts. He comes and resides in the heart of his creation. The true Christian hosts the God of angel armies within their heart.
Stop the train you’re on. Let the world fade away for just a while. Go there. Close the doors, turn off all communication devices. You don’t have to go anywhere to meet with God except for wherever you are but we do need to have moments where time stops and it’s just you and him. No distractions.
William Temple, once the Archbishop of Canterbury said "Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His Holiness, nourishment of the mind by His truth, purifying of the imagination by his beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose. All this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of all expressions of which we are capable."
It is in worship and in being with God and reading his word, that the things that break his heart begin to break our hearts. It’s where you get moments of feeling what He feels. It’s where you fade and he shines. It’s where you are put in your rightful place and He is put in His. Where the created falls before the creator. It’s where you try and come up with words to describe what you’re feeling but like me, you probably fall way short. Sometimes it’s best just to be still and know that he is God and let him do the talking. Come away.