Artist: Todd Agnew
Album: Grace Like Rain
Song: Only One Thing
Only one thing cannot fail
Only one thing will never die
Only one thing is sure and stable
Even when I turn and turn and turn
Only one thing, deeper than the ocean
Only one thing is higher still
Only one thing has such devotion
Waiting arms wide until my will gives way
Your love reaches across the miles I raced
To separate me from You
Your love cradles me like a child when I finally reach for you
Your love's beyond my understanding
Only one thing
Only one thing is always faithful
Only one thing is ever pure
Only one thing, completely able
Only one thing will endure forever
I could sing of Your love forever
Artist: Todd Agnew
Album: Grace Like Rain
Song: Still Here Waiting
It's cold outside
Or is that just the chill I feel inside from standing here
Steeping in my shame
I can't deny
I'm surrounded by the very thing You freed me from
That's why I can't come home
I don't know where I turned around
From chasing what I always found completed me
More than I could dream
I don't know why I can't remain
Safe here where I always came to meet with you
And You always met with me
And You're still here waiting
I fail to see
Why You'd still be waiting to forgive me
After all that I have done
But I cannot say
That one time I returned and You had turned away
Your love never fails
You say, "Come home" and You'll be there
I can run into Your arms
"Your love reaches across the miles I raced / To separate me from You / Your love cradles me like a child when I finally reach for you / Your love's beyond my understanding"
"I don't know where I turned around / From chasing what I always found completed me / More than I could dream / I don't know why I can't remain / Safe here where I always came to meet with you / And You always met with me / And You're still here waiting"
Read those lines again. We run from the love of God, run from His grace and His blessings. But, no matter how far we've run from him, when we finally turn to Him, when we finally reach out for His rescue, we cannot go farther than His reach. No matter how far away we've wondered, He is ever waiting to reach across the distance and cradle us close when we realize we need him.
Imagine, for a minute, that you are the one doing the loving (and perhaps for some of those reading these words, that's not too difficult...you're a parent, a spouse, a friend, a child of someone who's repeatedly hurt you), and you love someone who either can't or won't love you back. You've reached out to them, you've only ever sought their best, and you can no more stop loving them than you can stop breathing. But, for whatever reason, they are unable to return your love. They run from you, they run to the very thing that harms them most, always putting distance between you and them. They return when they are broken, hurting, aching, and needing you to make them whole, and yet you know as you hold them close, they will leave again, they will run again to the things that hurt them. You know that no promise made will be kept, not for long, anyway. Tell me, could you keep doing that? Could you continue to love them no matter where they are, no matter how many times they abuse your love for them? Or would you eventually begin to lose faith in them, would the ache of your heart so frequently and consistently broken begin to cry louder than your love does, and you reach the point that you don't think you can do this again. Do you eventually reach your breaking point, your wit's end, and try your hardest to give up on them?
You wondering if I can somehow see into your heart? If I know you better than you thought I did? If I can read your mind? No, I can't, I don't. But see, I've loved that way, I've loved to my breaking point and beyond, emptied myself time and again for people who are too blind to even see what it takes for me to love them still. I may not have stood in your shoes, but I wear a pair very much like them.
But, as you sit here, empty, broken by someone who takes all you can give and spits in your face, stop, and read those lyrics at the beginning again. In your finite, imperfect understanding of love and of God, I want you to realize that God is the one who has loved with no return, given all only to be rejected time and again, nad you were the one running from Him. You don't have to ruin your life to bring your soul to ruin, and yet, He is still there, waiting, ready to reach over how ever much distance you've put between His love and your aching soul. God never reaches the point where He's ready to give up on you, where He's passed his breaking point and can give no more. God is ever ready to bring you back to Him, ever eager to cradle you close and heal your broken heart, wipe the eyes that have wept so hard it feels there are no tears left to cry, to set you free.
He is still here waiting, beloved. Be loved, come back to Him, and bask in His love that is beyond our understanding.