Today, I found myself with a particular interest in listening to Shane and Shane. I enjoy their music, especially the songs original to them because the lyrics and music are often so centered on the Christian’s unintelligible desire to . . . uh . . . well, it’s hard to put into words. It is what I imagine that Romans 8:26-30 is talking about when it speaks of the groaning of the Spirit inside the Christian. I’ll do my best to describe it. It is that deep longing to know God in his fullness, to know and love him and his plan, the fear that I won’t or can’t or may be distracted by things – even good things but lesser things – that will somehow replace the good longing for God. It is the desire that accompanies the new birth and the presence of the Spirit and causes a human to become a worshiper of God. It is the testimony of the Spirit that the revelation of God is true, that the gospel really is the hope of the world. It is the hatred of my flesh that limits my ability to experience God and at the same time the thankfulness for the Spirit who has caused me to begin to know God, my Creator and my Redeemer. It is that longing of a pastor who feels the weight of a burden from God but like Peter looks at the waves of the world and fears that he won’t be able to keep his gaze on the Lord let alone lead others in this tumultuous tempest, so in his desperation he cries out to God about his fears and his yearning. It is even the yearning of the scholarly heart that loves God, has been given gifts of knowledge and understanding, but fears being crushed by finite-ness, fears believing error, feels the burden of seeking truth at whatever the cost, and is weighed down by the calling to equip Christ’s Church knowing that suffering precedes glory in such an endeavor.
I love music. It moves and teaches us in ways that other ways of communication simply cannot. It’s able to say things otherwise incommunicable. Listen to this song, and let it minister to you today. Listen to it in a place where it’s just you and God listening in. Cry if you need to. Pray and worship God. There is a particular moment in the video in which I especially connect with the yearning of Shane and Shane (the one on the right, especially). Watch closely from 3:26-3:30 in the video. In that moment, he seems to come to a place where he’s got nothing left. He’s laid it all before God – he’s naked and needy before the Lord. All the emotions, knowledge, fears, burdens, callings, dreams, worries, etc have been exposed and humbly laid at God’s feet. There is nothing left to do but lean on the Lord, depend upon him, and worship.