Where are you? I can't find you / Broke in two, left behind you / Reach for me (Reach for me)
1. Bring God into your pain.
You were the only one to see / Secrets locked inside of me / You were the only one / So tell me where you've gone / I've lost a little more today / Nothing more you can take away / Can I believe you still? / I need something real
Have you ever believed it was irreverent to wrestle with God when you're going through hard things? I believed that for a while.
It's been super helpful for me though to see so many people's stories and prayers that God allowed to be recorded in Scripture that did exactly that and God wasn't intimidated or put off by it at all. In fact, He welcomed their honesty and it drew them closer in relationship with God. David's psalms are a beautiful picture of this.
Much like the raw, honest lyrics of "Reach," David holds nothing back in prayer to God when he is overwhelmed by his emotions and the struggles he's facing. God isn't afraid of the pain you're going through, or the raw emotions you feel, or by your doubts and fears. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 62:8 which says, "O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge."
Our God invites us to pour out our hearts to Him–the good, the bad, and the ugly. The raw and unprocessed emotions that aren't going to come out so neatly when we share them. The unresolved circumstances that we are right in the middle of. He wants us to share all of it with Him.
A lot of the time we can feel like we have to hold in emotions, keep everything together and put on a face for God in order to be a good Christian. But I love that God invites us to come to Him when we don't have it all together and to bring Him into every part of our lives. We get to give Him our burdens and He wants to give us His peace in the midst of whatever situation we are facing. He wants to meet our needs, work in our lives, and open our eyes to the ways we can thank and praise Him even while we're walking through hard things. (Philippians 4:6-8)
I constantly need God to remind me of this. I bet you do too. Not only in the way I relate to people but even in the way I relate to God, I'm constantly trying to bury what I'm feeling, work through problems on my own and pretend I'm okay. He doesn't need me to do that and He doesn't need you to do it either. He is a God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Don't hide your pain from God, bring Him into it. It's when we cry out to God in the midst of our pain and begin to let Him into it that we start to realize that we are not alone. He is with us, He is upholding us even in the moments we can't quite feel it, and He is always ready to help us in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
2. Bring people into your pain.
Nobody wants to feel like this / Reach for me / Nobody wants to hurt like this / I'm falling deep / Reach for me
In a recent interview with BUILD Series, Skillet shared the very personal story behind "Reach." Guitarist Korey Cooper found out that one of her high school friends was diagnosed with cancer. Korey reached out and reconnected, which led to some conversations encouraging her friend throughout her battle and talking with her about faith in God and the afterlife.
Korey encouraged her friend to try talking to God about her fears, which one day she did. She asked God if He was there and then felt like she was supposed to lift up her hands in the air. As she did, she felt God reach back and touch her fingers and tell her that she wasn't alone. "Reach" is dedicated to Korey's friend, who passed away.
I found that story so impactful because of what it teaches us: it's okay to be real with God about our pain and weakness, but it's okay to be real with trusted people about our pain and weakness too.
When we let trusted people into the emotions we're feeling and the circumstances we are going through several things happen. They can help propel us closer to God. There have been so many times when friends of mine have spoken an encouraging word to me that gave my heart strength to seek God when I felt like quitting. God brings comfort, strength and healing to us when we open up and share vulnerably with others. (James 5:16)
There's something so sweet about believers in Jesus walking through not only the joys but the tough things of life together. It opens a door that God can use to encourage us, counsel us and share the load of a burden with a brother or sister in Christ who has a little more strength in this season than we do. It draws us closer to God and others. It's another reminder that we're not alone.
Whatever you are going through, no matter how big or small, I want to encourage you to open up to God and people about it. Have a conversation with God and unburden your heart to Him. Be honest. Ask God to point out the trusted people who do life and pursue Jesus with you day-to-day (whether they be family members, friends, pastors or counselors) that are safe for you to share your struggles with, who will fight for you and point you to Jesus.
You don't have to walk through hard emotions and circumstances alone. God is with you, reaching for you to comfort you and help you, even in your pain...and His kids are too.
"Reach" can be found on Skillet's latest album, Victorious. Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "Reach" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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