This month’s song is “My Love, My Ever Present” written by Jonathan Martin and Rachel Harris and performed by Mosaic. This month’s song is also featured on the album Psalms & Songs available exclusively at LifeWay Christian Stores. Download charts and more at lifewayworship.com.
The Terror and Delight of Being Understood
I am a bit nerdy about self-assessment. Myers-Briggs, Strengths Finder, the Enneagram — learning more about who I am and why I tick the way I do has always assisted a major growth period in my life.
I think I can just feel the truth of Jeremiah 17:9 my bones. The truth that my heart is deceitful and desperately sick; who can understand it? Over and over again, I’ve been baffled at myself. In prayer, I’ve teeter tottered between shame at my repetitive sins and overwhelming gratitude at God’s great patience with me.
How is it that He is able to be so patient with me?
I’ve struggled with the question — but, one day, after reading Psalm 139; I realized that He understands me. He isn’t surprised by what I’ve done or what I’m going to do. He isn’t trying to figure me out. He knows me better than I know myself. Like Psalm 139 says, “He knows my thoughts from far away. He observes my travels and my rest and is aware of all my ways. Before a word is even on my tongue, He knows all about it.”
That truth felt like a weight lifting off of my chest. I realized that there is no use in hiding. There’s no need for it! He already knows! He knows not only what I’ve done, but He knows why I’ve done it. He isn’t confused or startled. He understands me better than I even understand myself. My heart is pretty deceptive, but it never fools Him. All my inner turmoil — my conflicted heart — the inner war between my flesh and my spirit — God knows it all.
We are desperate to be known. And the popularity of self-assessments proves that we are even desperate to know ourselves. There is an ache of longing to be deeply understood. But we are also deeply afraid to be truly known because being known is like a light that exposes the darkness within.
How freeing to know that God “gets us.” There is no real need to fight for His attention because we’ve got it. And like I said earlier, there is also no need to hide. The truth of Psalm 139 can satisfy the ache for longing while simultaneously removing any fear we might have of “stepping into the light.” God knows us.
In light of this, I’ve started to realize that God’s patience with me isn’t like the patience of others in my life. God was decidedly patient with me long before I needed it. I let Him down long before it became a reality. That’s what makes His grace so sweet — it’s been prepaid. It’s something to fall back on, not something to summon-up in time of need.
God knows you. Your stomach might drop a bit when you first believe that, but I hope that it is soon followed by the wonderful feeling of being loved. He made you. Not just your body, but also your personality, your experiences, your giftings and talents — His hand is in the middle of everything that makes you, you! He also knows your tendencies and your leanings towards sin. He isn’t surprised, but He is in your corner fighting for your absolute best. If you believe in Christ, then His grace has encircled your past, present, and future. That’s a lot to take in today, but I hope you will.
In their own words, Jonathan & Emily Martin are a “short, traveling musical family.” They like to refer to themselves as “travel sized,” which is perfect because they have spent the last seven years traveling the country together leading worship and sharing the songs that they write.
Their ministry is called The Word in Worship, and their passion is to write songs out of what God is teaching them through the Word. With the belief that God’s Word is beautiful, powerful, life-giving and helpful, Jonathan & Emily love to use their craft of songwriting and singing to re-communicate the beauty that they discover in the Word of God. Many might make the mistake of believing that God’s Word is dull and boring; it’s Jonathan and Emily’s mission to awaken, through song, an awe of the God who makes Himself known to us through His Word.
With compelling melodies and voices, Jonathan and Emily seek to encourage the Church and share the Gospel through the powerful combination of the Word and song. Their full time ministry and calling is to share these songs and lead worship across the country for church events, camps, and even living rooms. Their concert events tend to have the flavor of a “musical Bible-study.” Sharing their stories of how God’s Word is impacting their lives sets a powerful and beautiful scene for the Word of God to then be sung into the hearts and minds of all who attend.
They have released three, five-song EPs over the last several years with another set to release in the near future. Their second EP Set Your Eyes was review and featured in Worship Leader Magazine and the song, “Set Your Eyes,” from this project was also featured in the 2014 Easter edition of Song Discovery. In addition, their most recent project and song, “Not Our Home,” has garnered attention from LifeWay Songs and was released in their 2016 compilation album, Songs of Faith, available exclusively at LifeWay Christian Stores.
“Psalm 42” can also be found on the album Not Our Home from Jonathan and Emily Martin. To learn more about Jonathan and Emily or to bring them to your church, event, or Bible-study you can visit their website at www.jonathanandemilymartin.