Ever get completely paralyzed in a moment? Liz Curtis Higgs shares how God has our back. Always. Also - be sure to listen to Liz as she joins us on the God Hears Her podcast!
You Are Loved
By Liz Curtis Higgs
It was a bright Sunday morning in Georgia. The children’s choir stood on the carpeted platform in two fidgety rows while their parents beamed. Anticipation hung in the air like dust motes.
When the piano introduction began, a fair-haired boy stepped forward to sing the call to worship. After two faltering notes he burst into tears.
A hush fell over the crowded sanctuary as his mother and the choir director both hurried to his side. They gently took the microphone from his trembling hands, then escorted him to a quiet corner out of sight from the congregation.
Sitting a few feet away, I could hear his muffled sobs. Bless his heart. When the choir had rehearsed a few minutes earlier, his voice had been remarkably strong and clear. Now, with the whole world watching, his confidence had plummeted.
We’ve all been there. Too scared to sing out, to speak up, to raise our hand, to take a chance, to offer our opinion, to say, “I can do this.”
And imagine being in his mother’s shoes, searching for the right words to say while two hundred people anxiously waited for the service to continue.
Whatever comfort she offered, it was effective. Moments later her young son reappeared, wiping his cheeks dry with one hand and gripping the microphone with the other. The congregation applauded. Even before they heard him sing, they honored his willingness to try.
When the boy took his place front and center, I realized what his mother must have promised him: “I’ll sing with you.” Kneeling close beside him, she wrapped her arm around his waist, leaned toward the microphone, and matched her pitch with his.
Their two voices sounded like one.
With each note he stood a little taller. Sang a little louder. When the choir joined in, his mother eased back so he could do all the arm movements to the song. But she never left his side, never stopped smiling through her tears.
This is what God does for us. He sings when we can’t sing. He does what we can’t do. He gives us strength. He remains by our side.
The truth is, we can’t survive apart from him. We might breathe, eat, sleep, and work, but we can’t truly live without him. Those of us who have tried and failed know it’s only because of God’s love for us that we’re still here.
We use the word love so freely. We love our cars, our pets, a funny video we saw on YouTube. God’s lovingkindness is another kind of love altogether.
It’s not a one-time thing, but an endless outpouring, for which I am beyond grateful. Every time I go to the Lord begging his forgiveness for the same failings, the same stupidities, the same sins, I almost hold my breath, fearing his voice will thunder from the heavens, “Enough, Liz! I don’t want to hear it.”
But that’s not what he says. Not the God whose love flows over all of us who depend on his grace.
Years ago, when I was trying to help our son with his homework, he was getting more discouraged by the minute. Finally, I asked him, “Do you know why I’m pushing so hard?”
Matt’s little shoulders drooped. “Because you want me to get a good grade.”
“No, sweetie.” I hugged him and then whispered into the curve of his ear, “Because I love you.”
That’s what God is saying to you as well, dear friend. He doesn’t care about your performance. He cares about you.
This day, this hour, may this truth wash over you afresh: You are loved.
Liz Curtis Higgs has one goal: to help people embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon. She’s the author of 37 books with nearly 5 million copies in print, including her nonfiction bestsellers, Bad Girls of the Bible, The Girl’s Still Got It, and The Women of Christmas. Liz has spoken for more than 1,800 Christian conferences in all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Her messages are timely, biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny. She also serves as Director of the Women’s Ministry Team at her church in Louisville, Kentucky, where she lives with her husband, Bill. Connect with Liz at www.lizcurtishiggs.com and www.facebook.com/lizcurtishiggs.