“In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me.” (Psalm 120:1)
I was listening to the radio this morning and Amy Grant’s song “Better than a Hallelujah” came on. I have heard that song at least a thousand times. And since I saw her perform it in concert, I really like it. Usually after hearing a song so many times, it gets boring. I know the words by heart and probably have sung them every day for the last year. After a while, they just become words without meaning. But today, while listening to the song, they really stood out to me.
As I listened to the song, I was thinking about my prayer time lately. It seems kind of dry mainly because many of the things I have prayed so desperately for have been answered. I feel like I am in a season of relief. Things are going pretty well. Life is easier than it has been for a while. Oh, I have the same concerns, but for some reason, I am at peace these days. When I heard this song this morning, it reminded me of a time not so long ago when I was before the Lord in tears not knowing what to do. I was desperate for direction and God’s intervention. I went before Him with my broken heart asking for Him to come in and sew it back together.
My prayer at that time was for my oldest son. He was struggling and as a Mom, I don’t want life to be hard for him. I remember going before the Lord asking for wisdom and seeking to know what to do for him. God spoke loudly and clearly to me. But I remember just being broken and open before God. I remember realizing that I could not help him. It had to come from God. He was the one that had to intervene and I prayed that He would. I prayed that God would show my son what he needed and that he would hear from the Lord. God answered that prayer. I remember being in church when God spoke the very words out of someone else’s mouth that I had spoken to my son two weeks earlier. It was all I could do not to start sobbing right there. My son was sitting next to me that night and I know he saw me crying. I wondered if he heard what God was speaking to him that night.
Then last night at dinner, my daughter was talking about a biographic book report she has to do. She chose a man that was a pitcher in the major leagues and the interesting part of it all was that he was born without a right hand. She is so amazed that without one of his hands, he was still a very good athlete. During the conversation, my older son brought up the man we saw a couple of months ago at church. He was born without arms and legs. He only has one foot. He is now a preacher and shares his story with the world all to the glory of God. This was the man that spoke the words in the service that night that made me cry. My son hasn’t forgotten. He heard the words spoken and they have pierced his heart. God is so big.
So this morning, out of the blue, this song spoke to me. It reminded me that God so desperately wants to be involved in our lives and that He cherishes a broken, open, honest heart so much more that a hallelujah. He loves the times we go before Him and seek Him. He cherishes the time we spend with Him sharing our greatest needs. That’s our God. He’s always willing to bless and we should be thankful. But even more so, He desires the intimacy that comes when we realize our only hope is Him. He wants that relationship that depends on His strength and wisdom. He adores spending time with us and listening to our desperate pleas for His intervention. “We pour out our misery. God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are. Honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah.”