now…to Live the Life

He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

John 12:25

I looked at the clock when I woke up; it was 3:00 AM.

I had gone to bed with my Monday blog post in mind.  I had been trying to type something and had found myself stumbling around without finding the right words to say.

Soon after I woke up, I began to pray starting with my youngest grandchild and working my way through to my oldest child because I had realized that I was wide awake and could not go back to sleep.

I couldn’t think of anything or anyone else to pray for while lying there and I started wondering why I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I started thinking about journaling and then I found myself wondering how in the world Papa Joe could breathe the way he does in his sleep, sometimes, without waking up in a panic.

I decided it was time to get up.  I acknowledged that either God had something for me or He wanted to pull something out of me.  It was 4:17 AM.

How many times has He woke me up in the night?

How many times have I resisted getting up by lying there frustrated?

How many times have I gotten up and turned my Bible to the exact place that I needed to see?

There was once a late night radio program that aired on Christian radio called “Praise in The Night”.  The radio station that it was on is now closed down and the program stopped production a few years ago.

One night I got up in the night wide awake like I was tonight and I turned that program on.  A song started playing that spoke to my heart and I quickly grabbed something and started jotting the words down.

The very next night I woke up and did the same thing.  As soon as I turned on the radio the song was starting again.  Two nights in a row.  Same time?  Same song.

I will never forget that song.   I had been journeying with the Lord for a while but I was at a turn in the road and I was wondering which way that He would take me.  I knew where He had called me but was unsure as to how I would go about getting there.  The song had spoken directly to my heart.  The second night I called the radio station and asked what the name of it was and who the artist was.

After I found out, I couldn’t find it on YouTube.  It is not a very well-known song, but every time I hear it, it speaks directly to my heart.  So I thought of it tonight while I was typing.

Here are the lyrics:

Many are the words we speak

Many are the songs we sing

Many kinds of offerings

But now to live the life

Many are the words we speak

Many are the songs we sing

Many kinds of offerings

But now to live the life

Help us live the life

Help us live the life

All we want to do is

Bring you something real

Bring you something true

(we hope that)

Precious are the words we speak

(we pray that)

Precious are the songs we sing

Precious all these offerings

But now to live the life

As I mentioned, the song was not and still is not popular enough to have a recording posted on You Tube and I have still only heard it two times on the radio.  I found a professional recording of it on MySpace this morning so if you want to hear it just Google:  Matt Redman Now To Live The Life or copy&paste this link in your address bar http://www.myspace.com/mattredmanmusic/music/songs/now-to-live-the-life-34602653 

It was as I was hearing this song for the first time that I realized that I was just going through the motions.  Yes, I was singing the songs, praying the prayers, giving the required offerings and saying the right things.  I was in my comfort zone with the friends who nurtured me most of the time.  But God was calling me singularly and He had been calling Papa Joe to start “Living the Life”.  I started listening to the song daily and asking Him to show me How to Live the Life.

A new phase began because:

That was before we sold and gave away everything we owned except what would fit into a small 2 bedroom apartment and moved to a Christian college campus for me to get the degree that I never thought I would get.

That was before the granddaughter came to live with us for a season and we became Mommy and Daddy to her sweet life for that season.

That was before I finally said good-bye to those comfortable friends and struck out into new territory with Papa Joe.

That was before I almost lost Papa Joe when a fluke that usually does not happen after surgery happened to him.

That was before God moved us next door to the elderly couple who needed us for a season to help them and their family usher them into that phase that is their final phase of life before He brings them home to dance with Him in the beauty of Heaven.

And that was before, and that was before, and that was before, and that was before whatever was to come next.

But now I have to say that I am actually living the life not just singing about it, not just saying the words, not just being comfortable, and not just giving the required offerings.  Yes, I am actually living it.

A young man who was and still is very dear to me wrote a Christian “rap” song a few years ago and in it he repeated, “Take up your cross, take up your cross, take up your cross” and at the time although I never really said it out loud, I didn’t really think that he truly understood what he was saying in the song because he was only 18 years old and just wasn’t as “mature” as me.  I am now aware that I did not truly know what it meant, either.  Not to the fullest extent.  Taking up your cross is a part of “living the life” isn’t it?

I confess I now have a better understanding of it, because He is teaching me what it means.  He is teaching me by showing me what it is like to partake of His sufferings by taking up His cross and following Him….

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Mark 10:21

By taking up my cross I am taking up His cross.  Aren’t they one and the same?

And now I ask the tough question, the real question, the question.

What side of the fence are you on?  What side do you want to be on?  Only you and God know your heart, not anyone else and certainly not me.

My challenge for today is this one, very plainly and simply.  Won’t you live the life?  Instead of just going through the motions by singing the right songs and getting “blessed” and hanging out with the good, Christian folk whom you call friends and who are really comfortable to be around.

Live the life, fellowship with Him in His sufferings.  Now to live the life!

It’s 5:50 AM now, I have had 2 cups of coffee and Papa Joe has gotten up to check on me and hugged me once on his way back to bed.  I think I will try to catch one more little nap before I get up and get ready for church and I have finished my post for Monday morning.

He is wonderful isn’t He?  The Lord, I mean.  He is wonderful.

Love to you,

Have an especially lovely week,

Godspeed,

EvieJo

LINKING UP WITH:

The Alabaster JarTell Me a Story

The Scenic Route

About Rhonda

Let me introduce myself to you who may not know who I am...I am an artist, writer, blogger, born again follower of Jesus Christ (I pursue Him on an ongoing basis with passion), I am a recovering codependent, survivor of childhood and adulthood domestic violence, an empty nester who still has a LOT of life to live and a LOT more places to go before I stop, the wife to Mr. John, mother, grandmother and I have a passion for being a part of the process of getting preschoolers ready for the rest of their lives! I have probably left something out but that's ok.
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8 Responses to now…to Live the Life

  1. Wonderful and I love the words to that song even though I have never heard it.
    Thank you for sharing at “Tell Me a Story.”

  2. eil1een says:

    EvieJo, What a beautiful testimony! And I had not heard that Matt Redman song before. Nice. I’ve had the early early wake up calls from the Lord before. He usually has something really important to tell us. Glad you were obedient and got up. Thanks for linking up this week!

  3. christi4imp says:

    Lovely message, EvieJo! Funny, we were up at the same time writing what God was laying on our hearts. Sometimes He has to wait until we’re finally settled down to get our attention! I wish I’d started “living the Life” longer ago than I did… the reward is so great! Blessings, sweet sister! I love that He gave you a song all your own!

    • eviejowilson says:

      Thank you for stopping by and, yes, I researched that time frame (3 AM – 6 AM) which is when I am usually woken up by Him. In Bible times it was the Fourth Watch. At that time of the night we think we are the only ones but really we are an army of watchmen that He raises up at that time. Very interesting!
      Blessings to you, EvieJo

  4. Denise says:

    Such a fabulous post.

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