Scripture: Psalm 34:1 – “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continuously be in my mouth.”
The story behind this blog post’s song is so sad and yet from it has come a song of such beauty that epitomises the very meaning of Psalm 34:1. The notion of blessing the Lord at all times is one that seems doable when things are going well and to an extent when things are not ideal; but the real challenge is our reaction when faced with crisis. The Grover’s, whose story inspired JJ Heller to write this stunning song, were faced with one of the most heart wrenching situations a couple could ever be forced to deal with. 23 weeks into their pregnancy which had up until that point seemed normal, it was discovered that their daughter had a congenital defect which meant that survival outside of the womb would be nearly impossible.
Amber Grover and her husband opted to view Olivianna’s life as a means by which God’s love and glory was being demonstrated to them. As they prayed for healing, and learnt to submit to God’s will even in the most trying of times they were able to give thanks to Jesus for holding them together in the midst of calamity. Amber started a blog to share her thoughts and frustrations with the world. Through this blog people Olivianna’s very short life on this earth has touched lives the world over, proving that just as the song’s lyrics state, ‘life is short, but it is wide’ and that if we truly bless the Lord at all times beauty will be found in every situation however ugly its beginning may have been.
I have posted the link to Amber Grover’s blog below should you wish to read more about Olivianna’s story and her journey.
Scripture: Songs of Solomon 4:7 – “You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you.”
Imagine you’re world renowned, recognised the world over for your incredible talent and beauty; and you’re on your way to a ceremony where your greatness is going to be praised. Dressed all in white and looking immaculate you are walking down the red carpet with adoring fans screaming hysterically, simply because they have had the privilege of catching a fleeting glimpse of you. Suddenly a man, filthy and distressed pushes his way out in front of you. He approaches slowly at first then picks up the pace. His face filled equally with desperation as it is with fear he opens his arms wide and stops in front of you. He wants a hug!
Would you stop to hug him, or would you be more preoccupied about the fact that you look flawless but hugging him could change that? If you are at all like me then the latter would have been your first consideration. Yet, listening to the chorus of Lovelite’s atmospheric pop track ‘All fair’ it is clear that we are the filthy ones pushing our way out before God, desiring to be embraced. He is pure, holy and ever merciful; so in spite of constantly having choirs of angels singing his praises he always stops to hold us in his arms whenever we take ourselves before him.
Just as in Luke 15: 22 the father was so willing, not only to embrace the prodigal son, in spite of him probably smelling like one of the pigs he had been sharing lodgings with, but also to get him cleaned up and celebrate him! So it is with our God. He is spotless, so pure we cannot begin to fathom it yet he still embraces us, washes us clean and celebrates every time we come to him. Our father, God almighty calls for a new robe which is his covering over us eradicating all that has gone before, and as if that was not enough he also gives us a ring signifying his power so we are free to operate in his authority. Is it not awesome that our blemish free and holy God would not only let into his presence as filthy as we are but that he takes the time to clean us up and then goes a step further to allow us to operate in his power here on earth? I don’t know about you but to me it is wonderful!
Check out Lovelite’s incredible shoegazey track ‘All Fair’ here.
NB. It’s totally random but the analogy I used kind of reminded me of lady and the tramp and being an avid Disney fan I couldn’t resist the chance to add a bit of Disney sparkle to this post.