MWM: anyway


“Praising God anyway” is a believer’s theme that resists obsolescence.  Nevermind the ubiquity of Osteenist suggestions that God supposedly just wants me to be happy and successful, or of Robertsonesque calls to take back the U.S.A. for Christendom, the theme of praising anyway, despite life’s events, is compelling.

Spontaneously, last night, our living room was the scene as 7 committed believers sang together before beginning a study of 1 Thessalonians.

  1. Fernando Ortega’s “I Will Praise Him Still” was actually bypassed last night — in part, because it was just too obviously a fit for various circumstances in our lives.  I don’t think many of us wanted to dwell too much in thoughts such as “the Lord our God is strong to save from the arms of death, from the deepest grave.”
  2. The very next song suggested was Beth and Matt Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name,” which is perpetually on CCLI’s favorites list (#4 on the list most recently tabulated).  The following excerpted words ring clear and true, not to mention calling us to faithfulness and worship “anyway”:

When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

. . .

When the darkness closes in
Lord still I will say,
“Blessed be the name of the Lord” …

. . .

On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

. . .

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

“Blessed be Your name.”  Has there ever been a more biblically based, Job-like thing to say to God in the throes of disappointment,  uncertainty, and anxiety?

  1. We also sang another Redman song — “10,000 Reasons,” which is also up there on the CCLI list these days.

Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

I’ve recently learned of a development in the life of someone I know that could have far-reaching, negative effects.  During hard times, we stand together in the resolve to “praise Him still.”

Some news tends to remind me of other gut-punches from posses of the past.  There was a little one in the Heartland, and an envious, downright dishonest one in the mid-Atlantic.  One in Arkansas that might have initially had reasonably good intent but that ran roughly over a missionary family’s life years ago.  Another one in NH has in some ways coursed through an entire, extended family for years.  Long after the fact, I learned of another posse in Texas that involved a shotgun meeting with top-level administrators.  Some of these occurrences prove reminiscent, in hindsight, of posses from biblical times.

The Psalms,collectively Israel’s and the early church’s song book, are full of “anyway” resolve and exhortation.  Something within the in-tune human soul is drawn to the faith-filled response that soulfully sings, “Knowing that this life is temporal, I will worship You anyway, my eternal Lord.”

We humans are unable consistently to manifest this kind of faith, in our ocean of “anyways,” but it is a consuming, familiar call, and one whose echoes are heard through the millennia.

[This is an installment in the Monday Worship Music series.  Find other, related posts through this link.]

2 thoughts on “MWM: anyway

  1. godschildrenorg 01/15/2013 / 4:35 pm

    Interesting how our thoughts continue to sync. You always touch something deep within me…tells me I still have some “work” to do on letting go, or accepting the unchangeable. And, you remind me that God is with us in all circumstances. Therefore, we can smile, singing, “Blessed Be Your Name,” with tears streaming down our face.


    • Brian Casey 01/15/2013 / 6:38 pm

      The “worship anyway” and “worship still, regardless” types of thoughts resonate deeply within me, too, nevermind my human stupidity that keeps me from acting fully in line with those thoughts. I absolutely love your picture of smiling with tears streaming down….


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