This is the second in the series of posts about some of the songs that I sing our son Jonah at bedtime and how the lyrics are connecting to my heart in a way that they have not done before. There is a new depth to these lyrics due to the path of pain that we have been on. Like I stated in the first post in this series, most of these come from my favorite artist Andrew Peterson. However, for this post I would like to talk through a song from John Mark McMillian that has had a powerful influence in my life this past year or so. The song is titled “How He Loves Us” and is sung on the radio by several artists including David Crowder but was written by McMillian. By far my favorite version is the one that includes an extra verse from McMillian. It can be found here. McMillian is fast becoming one of my five favorite artists. His raw and honest style is so moving to me. I feel as though he tells it like it is. He doesn’t pretty it up but lays out the mess for all to see.
This song is no different. The first verse goes like this:
He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree. Bending beneath the weight of is wind and mercy. When all of the sudden I am unaware of this afflictions eclisped by glory, and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.
I think we often forget this first line. He is jealous for me. Our God so deeply desires our attention and focus that He is jealous of all other things that can take his place. He so wants our love and attention that He is willing to risk our happiness. Sometimes his love can be so intense that it can feel like a hurricane. We can be come overwhelmed by it. Bent over but not broken. Jesus is willing to allow for pain to come in to our lives which disrupts our happiness but exposes our deep need for him. Once we are finally attentive to the weight of his glory those afflictions are eclipsed – not necessarily taken away but removed from our direct experience. The moon just went through an eclipse last month. The moon was not gone, it was where it always is but we were less aware of it, it was removed from our direct view. It is then that we see his full beauty – what a beauty it is and in that we experience the full affection He has for us. Something he wants to reveal to us each day. In fact, it has now become part of my practice to ask for its revelation. I have begun to include in my morning prayers: “Lord please reveal your affection for me in a way that I can see it”.
Chorus: Oh how he loves us so. Oh how he loves us, how he loves us all.
Verse 2: And we are his portion and he is our prize. Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eye. If is grace is an ocean we’re all sinking. And heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest and I don’t have time to maintain these regrets. When I think about the way….
He is our prize. We forget that. We have been awarded with the presence of Jesus not because of who we are or what we have done but simply because we are his portion. We belong to him. We are drawn to our redemption. We don’t choose it, we are drawn to it. We forget this as well. We try to force redemption and grace on people. This is not the way it works. The Holy Spirit draws us to him by is deep and unending, graceful ocean. We drown in his grace. He gives so much grace to us that we are drowning in it. And we need to. I need to drown daily in his ocean of grace.
I really like the part with heaven meeting earth with a sloppy wet kiss. Some versions have changed this. I am not sure why. I think that God’s affection is direct and somewhat messy at times. I think that even at times the affection we feel from Jesus can be overwhelming and uncomfortable making our hearts turn violently inside of our chests. This can pour over us in a way that we really can’t hold onto regret. We try and we try to grasp it tightly because we think it is a part of us and defines us. However, when we fully immerse in the water of his unending acceptance and everlasting flowing stream of his love we can’t help but let them go realizing that his acceptance and love is what is true. It is what should define us.
Chorus 2: He loves us, oh how he loves us, oh how he loves us, oh how he loves us. Yes, he loves us, oh how he loves us, oh how he loves us, oh how he loves us.
Take the leap. Drown in is grace. Allow for the regrets to be released. Allow the hurricane of his love and affection bend you low. Allow your afflictions to be covered by his beautiful and pure glory.