I've had the privilege to see Tenth Avenue North
in concert with VOTA
and Sanctus Real
on the We Need Each Other
tour last fall. Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North only sang five songs at the concert, but made a big impression on me both musically and in how he demonstrated his heart for God. After a few up-tempo songs, Mike opened up his heart and shared his passion for worship of our God and Savior with two of my favorite songs including "By Your Side" from the debut album Over And Underneath
The song is so sincere and sung from the perspective of Jesus pouring out His heart to us.
"There are a couple of lines in 'By Your Side' that to me really encapsulate the whole song," says Mike Donehey of the band. "One is in the second verse that says, 'Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if Iím not enough? To where will you go child? To where will you run?
And in the last verse it says, 'Look at these hands and my side, they swallowed the grave on that night, when I drank the worldís sin so that I could carry you in and give you life.'
'By Your Side' is just a call to anyone whoís struggling or fighting against God thinking they have to work to earn it. Itís calling them to stop looking for what you can do for God and fix your gaze upon what God has done for you. Let that motivate you. We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
Here is an excerpt from Mikeís journal entry about the song: "If the snow of Christís blood has fallen on you, then you are new. You are white. Get back up! Do you get that? Get back up. Thatís all that Heís asking of you. Be freed from your fear that judgment is just around the corner. If you are in Christ, then fear is gone. Judgment has already come, and it wasnít you who received it! He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.
The song is also based on 2nd Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
What an amazing picture of the grace of God. As we get closer to Easter, we all have reason to reflect on Godís Holy and Perfect sacrifice of His son Jesus. He died for us, so that in Him we might know Godís righteousness. We canít earn grace, and we canít do anything to gain life other than accept Jesus.
Lyrics to "By Your Side"
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go
What if we lived as though we believe the sincere words of this song? Jesus loves us so much He came down and took our punishment so that we can be with Him forever. Please donít fight His hands that are holding you. He wants to give us life and never let us go. What a reason to have comfort in our Savior and know that Heís by our side.
You can listen to the song here