Two Week Rock Devotional (Part 2)

This is the second half of a two-part Christian Rock devotional.  If you haven’t seen the first segment…voila: click the link here.

 

Day 8 – “Salt in the Snow” by The Classic Crime

Give me wings, give me peace
These are the things that I need
I’m tormented, broken, and chained
Are You listening?
(Are You listening?)

Give me shelter from the storm,
I know it’s a lot to ask for,
Considering how recent
I’ve piled the dirt on Your name.
Are You listening?
(Are You listening?)
Are You listening?

I have heard that winter’s cold,
Will give way to summer’s warmth
Oh no, like salt in the snow,
I’m melted and left all alone,
On the side of the road.

Is this where I am for Your sake?
Stuck between sleep and awake?
My mind is dreaming of things,
Are You listening?
(Are You listening?)

I took You for granted again,
And threw You aside and pretended
For one minute that I had control
Of my life, and direction.
It seemed to be in.
I was wrong again.
(I was wrong again.)
Are You listening?

I have heard that winter’s cold,
Will give way to summer’s warmth
Oh no, like salt in the snow,
I’m melted and left all alone,
On the side of the road.

And I will wait for You to come again,
And I can’t pretend like I’m confident
And I can’t pretend like it makes much sense
When it doesn’t.

I have heard that winter’s cold,
Will give way to summer’s warmth
Oh no, like salt in the snow,
I’m melted and left all alone,
On the side of the road.

REFLECTIONS

“Are you listening?”  This line was the most prominent part of that entire song.  It’s normal to wonder where God is and if he cares about what’s happening.  Sometimes we feel forgotten.  But this song takes all of that and flips it on its head.  We think these things, but we take the actions and promises of God for granted.  Or we simply don’t understand them, and so we don’t like them.  You aren’t the first to doubt, and doubting does not mean you can’t fulfill what God has for you.  There were many characters in the Bible that doubted and argued with God:  Job, King David, and Thomas, who notoriously developed the name “Doubting Thomas” for his lack of faith in God’s plan and resurrection (John 20:24-29).  All of these people were men of great faith, and did great things for God’s Kingdom, so don’t hurt your heart worrying about your doubt, and instead use it as a device to strengthen your faith.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Dare I say it?  Pray for doubt, if you haven’t had any in a while.  Doubt, if harnessed correctly, can be very powerful and beneficial for the development of your spirit, as long as you go to God for your answers.  And if you’re battling the monsters of doubt now, then pray for an open mind, an open heart, and a spirit to pursue answers that might not be what you want to hear. Also, pray to have strength to accept those answers.

 

Day 9 – “Kings Will Come” by Narnia

What’s the meaning of things, such diamonds and rings
When it all gets so predictable, do you wanna know?
What’s the value of life when it’s ended by a knife
When it’s all so unpredictable, do we even know?

What makes the world go ’round?
What’s in a lifetime?

Kings will come and kings will go
He will stay the same, stay the same
Nations rise and nations fall
He will stay the same, stay the same

What do I have to bring when I settle in my coffin
Is there anything I’ll need, anything at all?
You have heard of a place where there will be no trace
of those valuable belongings, or did you even know?

What makes the world go ’round?
What’s in a lifetime?

Kings will come and kings will go
He will stay the same, stay the same
Nations rise and nations fall
He will stay the same, stay the same

REFLECTION

God is God, now and forever.  He has seen entire eras pass by.  James 4:14 describes our lives as mist (“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”).  If God is big enough that we are vapors in comparison, then what do we have to concern ourselves over?  In the end, human titles and assignments, such as “king,” mean nothing before Him.  This is a song about scope and purpose, to remind us of the one from which all love and strength is drawn.  He is never ending and never changing.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Have you forgotten the power and resilience of a God that cannot die and cannot be beaten?  Ask Him to remind you.  It won’t even be hard for Him.  If you aren’t sure about your meaning or purpose, seek direction and guidance.  There are answers, and the prospect of finding them is usually more frightening than the journey itself, so get started.  Learn something, maybe.  Dare to aspire for more–something that can give back to Him–and don’t over-invest in the world in which we live. Someday it will pass away.

 

Day 10 – “Faceless” by Red

A voice screaming from within
Begging just to feel again
Can’t find who I am without You near me
I’d give anything to live
Cause without You I don’t exist
You’re the only one who saves me from myself
I abandoned this love and laid it to rest
And now I’m one of the forgotten

I’m not, I’m not myself
Feel like I’m someone else
Fallen and faceless
So hollow, hollow inside
A part of me is dead
Need You to live again
Can You replace this?
I’m hollow, hollow and faceless

Shadows growing in my mind
Ones I just can’t leave behind
I’m not strong enough to pay this ransom
One more monster crawled inside
But I swear I saw it die
Can You save me from the nothing I’ve become?
I abandoned this love and laid it to rest
And now I’m one of the forgotten

I’m not, I’m not myself
Feel like I’m someone else
Fallen and faceless
So hollow, hollow inside
A part of me is dead
Need You to live again
Can You replace this
I’m hollow, hollow and faceless

I’m faceless
I’m hollow and faceless

We are the faceless
We are the nameless
We are the hopeless
Until we have faces

REFLECTIONS

This song could be perceived in a number of different ways, and I refuse to believe it wasn’t at least slightly inspired by ‘Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (as well as the rest of the album).  Whether you think the song is about a faltering Christian remembering the identity they have in Christ, or about somebody on the cuff of finding their faith after realizing what they have missing, they both have one thing in common: an acknowledgement that who we are as humans is broken, flawed, and without complete identity.  We develop masks throughout our life and oftentimes forget who it is God wants us to be.  This song strives to remind Christians what finding yourself in Christ really means, and that we need not look for identity in other things or people.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

One of the most fundamental and human questions is: “Who am I?”  Pray for further understanding of who God wants you to be, as well as the strength to endure the path to reach that destination.

 

Day 11 – “Let It All Out” by Relient K

Let it all out
Get it all out
Rip it out, remove it
Don’t be alarmed
When the wound begins to bleed

Cause we’re so scared to find out
What this life’s all about
So scared we’re going to lose it
Not knowing all along
That’s exactly what we need

And today I will trust You with the confidence
of a man who’s never known defeat
But tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at You in disbelief
Oh, inconsistent me
Crying out for consistency

And You said: “I know that this will hurt,
But if I don’t break your heart, then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear,
remember, the end will justify the pain it took to get us there”

And I’ll let it be known
At times I have shown
Signs of all my weakness
But somewhere in me
There is strength

And You promise me
That You believe
In time I will defeat this
Cause somewhere in me
There is strength

And today I will trust You with the confidence
Of a man who’s never known defeat
And I’ll try my best to just forget
That that man isn’t me

Reach out to me
Make my heart brand new
Every beat will be for You
For You

And I know You know
You touched my life
When You touched my heavy heart and made it light

REFLECTION

This song hurts me because it always comes to mind when I see others suffering.  There are so many people I wish I could show this song to, and hope that they’d take away the meaning within.  That segment in particular–the one that starts with “You said ‘I know that this will hurt…”–is such a sobering line.  We cast so much hate and blame at God when things go wrong, and we never think long-term about how our circumstances could turn out for the better.  God may not cause suffering, or even “allow” it, but I do think he uses pain when it happens, and he wants to use it for our betterment.  We just need to not get sucked down in the process.  There’s strength inside, but that strength, ironically, is usually protected by our vulnerabilities, which is protected by fear.  Cut out fear, allow yourself to be vulnerable, so that God may resurrect the strength within.  If it seems too difficult, or like the haul isn’t worth it, then at the very least you owe it to yourself to try and to never give up hope.  Because the other side, while humble, is a place full of love.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

We should be vulnerable and willing to accept our damage–both that which we’ve taken, and that which we’ve given to both God and others.

 

Day 12 – “All Around Me” by Flyleaf

My hands are searching for You
My arms are outstretched towards You
I feel You on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for You

This fire rising through my being
Burning, I’m not used to seeing You

I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

My hands float up above me
And You whisper You love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place

The music makes me sway
The angels singing say we are alone with You
I am alone, and they are too, with You

I’m alive, I’m alive

So I cry
(Holy)
The light is white
(Holy)
And I see you

I’m alive
I’m alive
I’m alive

Take my hand
I give it to you
Now you own me
All I am
You said you would never leave me
I believe you
I believe

I can feel You all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healed

REFLECTION

This is the only female singer on this list, and perhaps the most poetic band in the lineup.  The message and point of this song is pretty simple.  Jeremiah 23: 23-24 talks about the presence of God, always everywhere, inhibited by nothing (“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD”).  This song is very personal, almost like a prayer between the singer and God, capturing that moment where the Spirit is strong within and around them, almost tangible, and the effects of that presence.  One of the traits that makes God who He is, is His omnipresence.  He promised to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6); He is everywhere, and He’s always there for us.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

It’s okay to pray to God about our ability to be with Him.  Ask Him to come and He will be there, no matter the location.  What we must do is remove ourselves from this world in order to meet Him.  Rather than focusing on a specific prayer agenda, I’d implore you to instead reassess where and how you pray.  Do you pray with music?  Do you pray in your room?  What kind of distractions are there?  If you’re having difficulty, try switching things around and doing something new.  You never know what you might discover.

 

Day 13 – “The Last Words” by Thousand Foot Krutch

Dear loved one, please listen, this might be the last chance I get
I’m sorry I left you, I’m living in a world of regret
Don’t cry if you can hear me, I never meant to hurt you dearly
I’m so wrong, sincerely. Don’t stop, take life seriously.

These are the last words I’m ever gonna get to say to you
When everything falls away from you
take these words and know the world is not worth leaving .

There’s so much I’ve done wrong, since I’ve left it hit me so strong,
Take my hand and let’s walk through all the times I’ve lied and hurt you
Those people, please love them
Don’t hate them, we’re not above them
You can have everything but have nothing.
Listen I’ve got to tell you something

These are the last words I’m ever gonna get to say to you
When everything falls away from you
take these words and know the world is not worth leaving.
Last words I’ll really get to say to you, so listen very carefully to what I’m saying
Life is more than just the games you’re playing.

If there was ever one thing I could ever get across to you
I’d tell you not to say these things you do, and tell my mother that I love her too
No matter what life pulls ya through
(No). You’ve got what it takes to make it through
And if I was you I’d get down on my knees and pray.
Thank God in the morning for another day. Cause these are the…

These are the last words I’m ever gonna get to say to you
When everything falls away from you
take these words and know the world is not worth leaving.
Last words I’ll really get to say to you, so listen very carefully to what I’m saying
Life is more than just the games you’re playing.

REFLECTION

There’s a lot of material in this song to work with–too much to delve into all of it now.  In summary, it’s very straightforward, transparent, and sometimes even blunt with its message.  It starts as an apology, a recollection of past wrongs on the writer’s behalf, and then transforms into a message for somebody that is currently struggling through life, taking hits and making poor decisions.  My favorite line is “Those people, please love them.  Don’t hate them, we’re not above them,” because of how down-to-earth it is.  It asks for equality for all persons, and for the receiver of the message to drop any presuppositions of pride that they might have separating themselves from those around them.  It’s easy to point fingers and mock others.  Not a quote from the Bible, but one of my favorite quotes of all time is, “If we all really knew one another, we would neither idolize, nor hate,” as if to remind us to keep a level head whenever we think of others.  If we knew all the bad things about them, we couldn’t idolize them, and if we knew all of the junk in their lives, we couldn’t hate them.  I definitely drifted off from the original point there, but that’s alright.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Pray for words.  You never know which time will be the last time you meet somebody.  Keep a tender heart towards all people, and do not be afraid to share the wisdom God has seen fit to give you.  God might use you to change somebody’s life.

 

Day 14 – “Love Alone is Worth the Fight” by Switchfoot

I’m trying to find where my place is
I’m looking for my own oasis
So close I can taste this
The fear that love alone erases

So I’m back to the basics
I figure it’s time I face this
Time to take my own advice

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

And I never thought it’d come to this
But it seems like I’m finally feeling numb to this
The funny thing about a name is
You forget what the reason you were playing the game is

And it’s all an illusion
A 21st century institution
So I’m headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we’re made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you’re afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

We’re only here for a season
I’m looking for the rhyme and reason
Why you’re born, why you’re leaving
What you fear and what you believe in

Why you’re living and breathing
Why you’re fighting it and getting it even
Let’s go headed down the open road unknown

And we find what we’re made of
Through the open door
Is it fear you’re afraid of?
What are you waiting for?

Love alone is worth the fight
Love alone is worth the fight

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh! Oh!

Here we are, here we go
Where the road is our own
Hear it calling you home
Here we are, here we go!

REFLECTION

Here, at the end of the devotional, it’s good to remember that we can always start from scratch.  Take time to self-reflect.  Remember why you’re doing what you do, why you worship, why you struggle, and what it’s all worth.  Through the seasons, our convictions and motives might change, prompting us to start from the beginning again, taking what we’ve learned and carrying it over into the next part of our life.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Pray that you never stop growing.  God has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31: 6), even when we need to take a step back or start over.  You cannot fall too far, and you cannot fail too badly.  And if there’s nothing to motivate that change, well, all I can really suggest is that you listen to the song again.  Take it in.  If for nothing else, yes, love alone is worth the fight.

 

Thank you very much for reading.  I hope somebody will be able to take something out of this, even if it’s just a new song to enjoy.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns, send me a message. Take care.

God bless, find a quiet place, and always remember to smile.

Cooper D Barham

Aspiring author, marriage and family therapist, and active behavioral health technician, Cooper fills his world with God, music, videogames, anime/manga, drawing, reading, writing, and some physical stuff in between. If you ever want to talk about the big or little things of life, fire him a message. Helping others through tough times is both his passion and way of living. 'Got it memorized?'

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