You are not alone

Today was my day off. I love these days …  time for all kinds of things I normally can’t do because of work.

This morning I visited my neighbor. She had a baby last week so I needed to see the little boy. What a sweetie!! I love those little ones …  they are so cuddly and the smell so wonderful *melts*

And I had time to read an interview with singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson. His new album, Light for the Lost Boy , has a beautiful song, “Rest Easy”,  that went straight to my heart.

Here’s part of the interview …

Please tell me the story behind writing this song.
 
I don’t do a lot of co-writing. I’m pretty insecure so the idea of sitting in a room with someone and asking, “What about this line?” It’s the scariest thought in the world to me. The only times I’ve ever managed to co-write a song with someone is when they have a line or two or a chord progression and tell me I can take that and run with it and the song can germinate in its own time. 
 
“Rest Easy” is a song that was co-written with the guitar tech, Tyler Cook, on the Steven Curtis Chapman tour that I just finished this past spring. Over the course of the tour, Tyler–who is also in a band–had to tune what seemed like 800 guitars and get them all ready. All throughout the day when he would work on the guitars he would play these beautiful melodies and chord progressions. I talked with him and I admired him a lot for how quietly and humbly he served as Steven’s guitar tech. 
 
I was deep in the songwriting process for my new album and I wanted some of the songs to sound different to stretch myself. I asked Tyler if he had any random guitar riffs that he would let me use for a song. Right away, he played for me the opening chord progression for this song. He taught it to me and I recorded it on my phone. The very next weekend, out came the song. He is the co-writer for the music. The music dictated the direction for this song. 
 
I started playing and the lyrics that came out were: “You are not alone, I will always be with you, Even to the end.” That’s probably the shortest verse I’ve ever written in my life. I liked that it wasn’t that complex, very straightforward and taken right from Scripture.
 
Which Bible verses did you use to write the song? 
 
Matthew 11:29-30 : “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
 
… and Romans 5:8 : “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
 
What’s the take-away message for listeners?
 
That passage started the song, and the phrase “Rest Easy” popped into my head. The process of writing all of the songs on the album had a similar beginning. I just started writing songs and seeing where they would go. 
 
One of the biggest things that I struggle to believe about the Gospel is that God is happy with me. When I would discipline my kids, I would tell them I love them just as much now as I did when I was disciplining them. We can learn a lot about the heart of God from disciplining our kids, which almost always is followed by an intimate hug. We need to tell our kids that I love them just as much now as when they were doing something wrong. 
 
I grew up with a legalistic understanding of God’s discipline and thinking God didn’t like me when I did something wrong. Brennan Manning said that makes no sense, because of Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 
 
God made the first move. God loves us as we are, not who we should be. The first thing that comes to mind when I struggle with my sins is to think like Adam and Eve and that I want to hide from God. Instead God calls us to an intimacy with Him, like a father has with his kids after discipline. God wants us to rest in Him because His love is unending. I’m 38; I’ve read the Bible, grew up in the church, and I’m still liable to think that God doesn’t like me because of my sins. That’s not true. I’m not alone in that thought. I’m sure many people feel like God is a cop trailing them without the lights on waiting for us to make mistakes. Many Christians live afraid of God. My hope is that this song will call people to rest. 
 
Lyrics:
You are not alone
I will always be with you
Even to the end
 
You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
So you can rest easy
 
Do not be afraid
Nothing, nothing in the world
Can come between us now
 
You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already Mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in Mine
So you can rest easy
 
You work so hard to wear yourself down
And you’re running like a rodeo clown
You’re smiling like you’re scared to death
You’re out of faith and all out of breath
You’re so afraid you’ve got nowhere left to go
 
Well, you are not alone
I will always be with you
 
You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already Mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in Mine
You can rest easy
 
We all need to remember that Earth isn’t our permanent home and our freedom from the restlessness of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. This song has become a personal worship anthem for me to sing daily and remember that “everything under the sun is meaningless.” As St. Augustine put it so perfectly, “our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” 
 
This is one of the most worshipful, challenging and introspective albums I’ve heard this year. Whether as an album to set the mood for reflection and worship or for personal times of devotion, I rate Light for the Lost Boy by Andrew Peterson highly for fans of truth telling singer-songwriters like Bebo Norman and Jason Gray. 
 
We’ve all been in that place where we feel unworthy of God’s love and down in the dirt. God promises us in Matthew 11:29-30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. God comes and claims us in our darkest place. When we are in communion with God, it is joyful and not a burden. I sing along with the truth of this song at the top of my lungs, and rejoice in God singing over me: “You don’t have to work so hard, You can rest easy, You don’t have to prove yourself,  You’re already Mine.” Amen to that!
And here’s the song …
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nayk.d | performing & creative artist

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