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Greenwood Forest Baptist Church

Please Be My Strength: Meditation on Music for October 30, 2016

The Preparation for Worship this week is a song by the band Gungor entitled “Please be my Strength.” The songwriter, Michael Gungor, has spoken about writing the song in the midst of deeply questioning and doubting his faith, as he struggled with whether or not he even believed in God. He and Mike McHargue describe their journeys away from Christianity and the church to atheism and back again in a moving episode of their podcast, The Liturgists, called “Lost and Found (Parts 1 and 2). You can listen to it here (and I recommend that you do).

In the first verse of the song and chorus, you can sense the singer trying to make his faith happen:

I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again
like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

Please be my strength
Please be my strength
Cause I don’t have anymore
I don’t have anymore

In the second verse, the singer concedes that he cannot create his own faith, but that he must let go and acknowledge that the only thing keeping it alive is a love outside of himself:

I’m looking for a place
that I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure
I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s your love that’s keeping me

Please be my strength…

Finally, in the last verse and chorus, the singer prays that when all is said and done, he will be found faithful regardless of his doubts, and that perhaps because he has doubted along the way, God’s glory will be more evident:

At my final breath
I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith
I pray your glory shines
through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that you…

You are my strength
You and you alone
You and you alone
Keep bringing me back home

In our Scripture from 2 Timothy for Sunday, “Paul” writes at the end of his life that he has fought the good fight and finished the race, but that it was God’s strength that brought him to the end faithfully despite many trials. May we learn to let go of our need to control. May we quit trying to rely on our own power to preserve the church. May we rely on the strength of God when we struggle and doubt and even when we stop believing. God is faithful, and will help us finish the race.

Listen to the song here.