After a bit of a disagreement with Debbie, last week I had to leave for a brief trip to Atlanta before we could resolve our differences. I hate unresolved misunderstandings like that. As we talked on the phone while I was away, I also sought the Lord for direction. I read some passages from the Scriptures which encouraged me to humble myself and make things right. I have discovered it is more important to make things right than to be right.
I also discovered God’s voice in a rather unusual place – my iPod.
I was actually trying to listen to a recent message I shared at the Mayan as I was preparing to speak on the westside of L.A. at Mosaic. After pressing “play” on the sermon, a song came on instead. Before I had a chance to fix the “mistake,” the haunting lyrics came crashing into my soul:
“Life is beautiful, but it’s complicated.
We barely make it.
We don’t need to understand,
There are miracles, miracles.
Yeah, life is beautiful.
Our hearts, they beat and break.
When you run away from harm,
Will you run back into my arms,
Like you did when you were young?
Will you come back to me?”
A song I didn’t really know by a band I hadn’t really heard of was exactly what I needed to hear (“Life is Beautiful” by Vega4). I didn’t even know how the song got on my iPod until I realized it was one of the free downloads I often add from the iTunes page.
If I wasn’t sure whether or not it was a message from God or not, I noticed the iPod had shifted into shuffle mode and this was song #1 of 777 songs.
Since God was talking to me, I had to find out what was next.
#2 Extraordinary Strength, a message by Erwin McManus (once again I still don’t know how to remove sermons from my song playlist)
#3 through #6 seemed to contradict the messages of the first two songs with songs called “Confused” and an angry song called “Wait a Minute.” I realized these are the songs representing my state of mind when I am not allowing God to guide me, whereas songs 1 and 2 were about my life fully following God’s guidance.
Then another free download I had never even listened to came on at #7, a song called “The Storm” by the Procussions. The message was overcoming the storm by recognizing we are in a spiritual battle. The battle theme continued with “Seven Nation Army,” “Black Math,” and “There’s No Home For You Here” all by the White Stripes.
Now, I was really spooked.
I had to find out more about what God was saying, so of course, I had to find out what songs #77 and #777 were. Once again, I was shocked.
If I hadn’t figured out the message, this final song certainly helped with lyrics such as:
“I miss you
And I wonder how you feel about me too
Do you miss the way we would play
And waste our time away?
Suddenly, we’re apart
And I can’t see you everynight
Though we fight I love you so much
Now I can’t feel your touch
That’s the end
And I’m lost without your love
You can imagine after all of this, I lost it on the flight back from Atlanta. No matter how ridiculous our fights might be, and no matter how hard marriage can be, she is worth fighting for. The enemy wants to ruin marriages. Our fight was so small and so silly. How could I let another day go by without making up with her?! As hard as marriage can be, it can also be that much more rewarding and life-transforming!
All that to say, God through my iPod reminded me how much I love my wife!