Musical Musings: "I Am" by Nichole Nordeman

OK, I said I was doing these in no particular order, but I have to start somewhere, right? I’m starting with “I Am” this morning.

Pencil marks on a wall
I wasn't always this tall,
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed,
You watched my team win,
You watched my team lose,
You watched when my bicycle went down again,

And When I was weak
unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said “Elbow healer, Superhero,
come if You can,” and You said “I am”

Only 16,
life is so mean,
what kind of curfew is at ten PM
You saw my mistakes,
You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I’d never love again

When I was weak,
unable to speak, still I could call You by name,
and I said “Heart-ache Healer, Secret-keeper,
be my Best Friend” and You said “I am”

You saw me wear white,
by pale candlelight,
I said forever to what lies ahead
two kids and a dream,
with kids that can scream
too much it might seem when it’s two AM

when I am weak,
unable to speak,
still I will call You by name.
“Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-maker,
hold on to my hand,” and You say “I am.”

The winds of change,
And circumstance blow in and all around us
so we find a foothold that’s familiar,
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

Life had begun,
I was woven and spun,
You let the angels dance around the throne,
who can say when,
But they’ll dance again,
when I am free and finally headed home

I will be weak,
unable to speak,
still I will call You by name
“Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning andthe End,"
"I am, yes, I am.”

Nichole takes us on a voyage through life in this song, visiting different stages in our lives and expressing what we see in God in each. She starts with the small child first. God is like Superman to us, the hero of the Bible, the rescuer from our innocent terrors. We are still sorting out who He is and what that means… thus we ask him to “Come if You can”.

Next she moves to the teenager, exploring who we are with those around us, learning to test our own independence and yet needing someone to keep us safe still. Having learned that God is indeed the healer of our physical hurts, that He can be with us, we now ask Him for a relationship as we trust him with our secrets and broken heart. Our deepest cry is for a best friend.

We move on to the young wife and new mother, watching her marriage and her struggle with two a.m. feedings. Certain and assured that she has a relationship with the God who healed her body and cradles her heart, she cries out now for peace and a helping hand with the day to day grind. We learn that God wants to be more than just there, more than a best friend, that He’s waiting to help us in every moment of life.

The bridge speaks of the constancy of God, and the way we can cling to Him when life seems changeable and inconsistent around us. It reminds us to go back to the God we trusted when we were young, to the moments when we knew He was there.

Finally, we get to the part that makes me weep with joy every time. Nichole reminds us of the tender care and great joy with which we were knit together, and then speaks of the celebration that will accompany our home-coming. God will be, as He always has been, our Beginning, our End, the Lord and King. We see Him in the full revelation of all He is… and He Is, as He has been always, and will be always.

At the concert, Nichole spoke of the different names of God, but that the greatest of these is “I Am”. This is the name God gave Moses from the burning bush, this is the name Christ invoked in the garden when the guards came to arrest Him. It is the name from which we draw YHWH and Jehova… the first is the literal Hebrew for “I Am”, and the other is a Germanic pronunciation of the Hebrew name.

Here is the marvel of “I Am”… it’s not “I Was,” or “I Will Be”, but rather a constant, an unchanging present. I Am is “I have always Been, I will always Be, I AM.” It is consistency in the midst of chaos. It is His omnipresence. The I AM encompasses everything He’s ever been, will ever be. He is Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Maker, there when we need Him most, our best Best Friend ever… He is all of that and more, because He is the “I Am.”

How can I not weep as I’m reminded that the “I Am” has always been there? It reminds me of an interpretation He gave me once of the story of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46, the skit I just did with John for church). As I wept, brokenhearted by the things that had been done to me, shattered that I’d felt so alone in those moments when I was beaten, abused, raped, certain that my God, as big as He was, didn’t know what it was like to be raped, He showed me those verses again. “I tell you the truth; whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” And then I could almost feel His arms wrapping around me, as I sat there weeping, and I heard Him whisper into my deepest heart, my deepest hurt. “I tell you the truth; whatever you did TO the least of one of these children of Mine, you did TO Me.” My God was there, the great and mighty I Am was there, and He placed His body between mine and every blow that rained on me, between every injury that ever came to my innocent mind and body; the I Am was there.

That is the I Am. When you need Him most, even when you don’t see Him, the I Am is there, coming between you and the worst things you’ve ever imagined, things worse than you can imagine. He comes to scatter our monsters, to calm our storms, to heal our heartbreak, to hold our hands… the I Am sang with joy as He created us and the angels danced around His throne. The I Am is waiting to sing again, for the moment when His hand pulls our eternal soul from our temporal body, when the angels again dance in His victory around the throne and we come home to Him. The I Am is more than you can imagine, more than you can understand, more than you dare dream.

Praise the I Am, from whom all blessings flow. Praise the I Am, all creatures here below. Praise the I Am above, all the angels of the heavenly host, Praise the I Am, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Breath, the Spirit.

I praise You, Great and Mighty I Am.

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