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OPINION

Hope still walks with the hurting

By R.A. Mathews
Special to The Star

If you haven’t heard it, get thyself to the radio! 

“There was Jesus,” is number one this week on Christian Billboard Charts.  

It’s a rare moment when anything created by human hands is perfect. Songs, articles, films, recipes, paintings, are never exactly right.  You stand back and say, “It needs ... something.”   

But perfection does happen. Moments when God says, “Hello!” and the Almighty hands out an impossible gift. A creation so perfect it could only come from Him.  

Such moments are always greeted with silence, sometimes tears of joy.  

“There was Jesus,” performed by Dolly Parton and Zach Williams, is such a masterpiece. 

Google and listen. 

“When my life came crashing down, when the friends I had were nowhere to be found, I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now,  there was Jesus.  

“On the mountains, in the valleys  ... the shadows in the alleys, there was Jesus.” 

I wept. 

I heard it for the first time this morning and I wept. 

My ship capsized last year, and I grabbed for Jesus. All day long and all night long. Night after night, I laid awake praying.  

There was no choice but to battle to get my sails out of the water, and God guided me. Even so, it was awful. Those around me, people I least expected to help, offered a hand. Thank you. 

Then the chaos that is 2020 swept in. Listen, I know God is with me, but my boat is on it’s side again.  

And countless ships across this nation are the same. People stare afraid at the future. Is this a Depression? Will it get worse? 

Google “There was Jesus.” Let it fill you with Truth. 

Music is magic. Do not underestimate a song. Scripture tells how music refreshed Saul’s troubled heart. 1 Samuel 16:23 

God wants our prayers, now more than ever. And He wants them with song.  

“Shout … to the Lord … come before Him with joyful singing … enter His … courts with praise.” Psalm 100:1-4 

God says don’t come down cast, but with joy. Even if you can’t stop crying.  

“Thy will" by Hillary Scott is another masterpiece. I’m not exaggerating.  

Hillary wrote it after her miscarriage and said every word had to be perfect ---the song was too important. It’s about submitting to God.  “Thy will" is filled with Truth, and it comforts me. 

Google. Listen. I'll wait. 

Hillary is a country artist. You'll remember her from “I Need You Now” fame, which I first heard while pumping gas. I knew it’d be a hit. 

She sings, “… I wonder if I ever cross your mind, for me it happens all the time. It’s a quarter after one and I’m all alone and I need you now …” 

But it’s not a masterpiece. Not a “Hello!” from God. Why?  

The song lacks Truth. 

It says, “Yes, I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all …” 

No --- a break-up is a break through. The two sad people in Hillary’s song should rejoice. “Jesus, I need YOU now. Not someone who’s done me wrong. Who wants that? Bring the one who’ll love me.”  

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Several years ago, the Washington Examiner published, “Broken relationships are at the heart of the suicide epidemic” by Suzanne Venker.  She says more than half of those who take their lives aren’t mentally ill. They’re brokenhearted, according to the CDC. 

Artists, be the solution --- stop feeding sadness. Sing truth from Scripture: “Joy still comes with the morning!” Psalm 30:5 

Matt Maher did just that. And God was so pleased, He wrote the next line.  

“Joy still comes with the morning. Hope still walks with the hurting.” 

Perfect.  

There was Jesus. No matter what’s happened in your life, there was Jesus. And He isn’t going anywhere. 

Jesus is the Hope that still walks with the hurting. 

The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-(TALK). It’s free and no one will track you or record your call. You can tell them anything.  

Call if you need help. Call if you know someone who needs help. Call 1-800-273-8255. 

The Rev. Mathews is a faith columnist and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at Letters@RAMathews.com 

Copyright © 2020 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.