I woke early this morning thinking about lyrics to a song I’ve written, titled, “The Song I Came to Sing,” inspired by a gravestone epitaph I saw years ago. I was just a young girl then, wandering curiously through an otherwise sunny graveyard, but the words on the stone left a lasting impact on my life… it read:
“I spent my life stringing and un-stringing my instrument, but the song I came to sing remains unsung.”
I’m a singer, from a family of singers and musicians, and those words still chill me. The person’s last message on earth told of a life that had somehow missed the mark. Whatever his dreams had been were never to be. My own father, once a fine violinist, had let his life go by, mourning his silent instrument, and living out that same, sad conclusion.
I remember thinking, back then, “I don’t want to end my life someday, not having fulfilled my purpose.” I know now, God has a purpose and a plan for every life!
While it’s early, my husband still sleeps, and I began reading my Bible. Turning a page in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, I found a note I’d hand-written beside the text at some point…
“Live, as if from heaven to Earth—not from the battle, but from the victory!”
Realizing Things Unseen
2 Corinthians 4:18 reads, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Unfortunately, when I read the words on that gravestone, years ago, it would be many years before I discovered my own true “song.” Altogether, forty years of wandering in my own wilderness. I was so caught up in the things of this broken world back then, I felt trapped by life. I couldn’t see that all the “truth” I had ever believed about God, and almost everything else, was a big fat lie!
Thankfully, the Lord gave my soul a song to sing—March 4, 1984. Now, in the years since my heart and life was changed so dramatically, I can understand what I wrote in my Bible that day.
“Live, as if from heaven to Earth—not from the battle, but from the victory!” Victory in this life is found when we come to know God’s heart and mind, through His word and the leading of His Spirit—and begin to live from His perspective. Or, as a my great-aunt Stella said, “You don’t know what real life is about, until you come to the foot of the Cross.”
Finding the Path
For me, it took God literally speaking right out loud, responding to my anguished and impudent cry, “Show yourself or get out of my face forever!” I don’t recommend that approach to Him now, you might understand. But, I’d come to a pained point in my life that needed some real answers, or I was done with all of it. Maybe you can relate to that?
Amazingly, the Lord answered my bold challenge that day, with love and grace I didn’t deserve. And with four words I will never forget—“You’re going home, Susan!” Twice, He said it, and I could no longer deny Him.
These days, I see so many people believing all the same lies I’d bought into, and it’s sad to watch. I want to shake them into truth, “STOP, you’re going the wrong way!” It’s like watching someone about to walk off a cliff or under a falling building, and unable to get their attention and avert a catastrophe.
People pay too little attention to God these days, when eternity hangs in the balance!
It still amazes me that, taking Him at His word, believing Him for Who He really is, one can actually glimpse this whole thing we call life, as if through God’s eyes. But, there it is—it’s true!
Earth’s Perspective Only Leads to More Questions
The battles we endure here on Earth are like swimming in rough waters; always some resistance. However, by faith, the battle is able to strengthen us, as we continue to swim—believing there is victory on the far shore. Because, there is!
Seeing life from God’s perspective, with faith and courage to press on, we overcome the obstacles and counterfeit paths of this world, day by day. The Father, like a good Dad, says to His child, “You can do this,” and the child takes baby steps. “Come on,” He says, “Come to me, don’t give up.” He does that with each of us through this life, if only we let Him.
Learning to see yourself, your surroundings, other people; every challenge, every issue and effort—as much as God allows from Heaven’s perspective—is the very answer to life. At once, hard, even death-defying situations take on new meaning. Trusting Him for every step is an adventure I might have missed. I pray you won’t miss it either!
“You’re going home, Susan!”
I still hear Him say, “You’re going HOME, Susan.” He said my name, and it keeps me swimming, through even the most troubling waters. “Come to Me,” He says in my heart, “The victory is here waiting. Stay on the path. The world and its offerings will entice and try to defeat all your efforts to endure in love and peace. But, trust and keep your eyes on Me, and I will get you Home.”
Sounds crazy, right? It did to me for forty years, until I had lost everything and bothered to seek Him. Amazingly, I found He’d been there all the time, waiting! My favorite Bible verse (Isaiah 43:1b) says… “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.”
Taste and See!
When we taste only the things of this life, and fail to look up, we miss real life—the real “song” He planned for us to sing. The “peace” I had sought here on Earth was in whatever made me happy at any given moment—an object, a place, a palatable philosophy; another person I thought could make all my dreams come true. I was hung up on whatever I could accomplish with my talents, looks, money, and so-called smarts.
Oh, if anyone had asked if I was going to heaven when I died, I would have said, “Yes, I’m a good person!” But I didn’t know the Lord then, nor His Way to that eternal Home. With no anchor for my soul—only the counsel or persuasions of others who had yet to believe Him—I found I only had more questions than answers.
When I understood those four words the Lord spoke aloud to me in 1984, and the amazing GRACE they imparted to my heart, I knew I would spend the rest of my life telling about Him and His truth.
The Song I Came to Sing
I’ve sung thousands of songs in my time, but THIS is “the song” I came to sing: about a perfect heavenly Father who loved us so much He became one of us on Earth; then laid down His life to pay for the sins of all who would believe.
I co-wrote the stage play, “Ten Boom the Musical,” with my sister Donna Griggs, about the life of Corrie ten Boom, whose faith brought hope to many women in Ravensbruck concentration camp, during WW2. Corrie found God’s call on her life—HER “song”—in that place.
I pray you will find your own life’s “song” in Him. That you will live in victory, as if from Heaven to Earth, with the hope of the eternal Home He promises to all who come to Him by faith in Christ alone.