About 8 months ago I was first introduced to the song Forever Reign by Hillsong, and, to be completely honest, I didn’t care for it. The phrase that particularly frustrated me (for lack of a better term), was found in the chorus: “Oh, I’m running to Your arms, I’m running to Your arms. The riches of Your love will always be enough. Nothing compares to Your embrace, Light of the world forever reign!”
If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know a frequent focus of my posts is worship. I actually feel I’ve been rather silent on the issue for several months, due in large part to no longer serving in an official capacity as a church worship leader but also just because I’ve not been blogging much lately. One of my criticisms of much modern worship music has always been the lyrics, and I’m in the camp of those who sometimes feel like worship songs sometimes sound more like “prom date music” than they do words of adoration to the King of Kings.
That was, honestly, my first reaction to this song, in particular the phrase quoted above. For several months I struggled with the song because of this vision it created in me – a song I didn’t, as a male, feel comfortable singing to Jesus, who walked the earth as a man. It just seemed… well… wrong. It was one of those songs that I categorized as “more appropriate for women” but not necessarily a good song for men.
As I prayed and meditated on this, though, I asked God why I struggled with singing certain songs. I asked questions such as, “Do I really love God as much as I say I do if I don’t feel comfortable singing these words?” But I never felt like the answer to that question was in the negative; what I sensed God telling me,though, was that the answer was in how I was viewing Him and understanding the text myself – it was all in my perspective….
One day I received a new “vision”, so to speak, a new perspective. Instead of seeing the text in a clearly romantic light (that “prom date” idea), I saw it as the love between and father and his children (or, more specifically, between a child and his father). There is little I enjoy in this life more than to see the look on my daughters’ faces as they run up and jump into my arms. One day when I came home from work and they did this I realized they could be singing these words about our relationship: that they were running to their daddy’s arms and wanted to be held by him (which they do all the time).
It was at that moment I realized I could say the same about my Heavenly Father. I didn’t need to see these words as a twisted eros type of love (not that I ever did because I didn’t, I just struggled with finding a suitable alternative). I could see these words as a little kid running up to his daddy and jumping into his daddy’s arms. One of my favorite descriptions of prayers is, “If you want to know how to pray just watch how a little kid talks to her daddy.” So I guess in the same vein, I’ve realized that if you want to know how to view yourself as truly believing the text, “I’m running to your arms,” view it as a little kid running to her daddy. This new perspective changes everything.