Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go –
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
“Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer”
Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music
Are these the words that you think about when it comes to growing in your relationship with the Lord? I know it sounds strange to us, but God has seen it fit to use the difficult things in life to bring us into a sweeter and deeper connection with Him.
There is so much talk in our world…and among those that claim Christ…that God has something better for us…something better than all these things trying to get us down. We are encouraged to face our hardship and essentially command it to leave because God has increase and prosperity right around the corner. These voices claim that if we have enough faith, we won’t have to deal with this tough stuff and negative experience. We are told to see the difficulty as a hurdle to get around.
This sentiment is categorically untrue.
We see the opposite of this played out throughout Scripture. Think of the patriarchs, the judges, the prophets, the disciples and apostles. What marks their lives most notably is the fact that they endured amazing storms, testing, tempests and trials. The result was not a rejection of or hardness toward God (though always a temptation) but rather they held fast to the Lord in the midst of it all.
A quick glance through the Psalms shows us the raw but always trusting nature of life as God’s children. One of my favorites is Psalm 13:
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
David is discouraged. He is asking the Lord…Why…Why are my enemies succeeding? Have you forgotten me? How long will this go on for? But I love the way David brings it back to that which is steadfast. As if catching himself, he proclaims that God is trustworthy. He remembers that regardless of what is going on, he can rejoice…he shall rejoice. David can rejoice in the grace of God.
God sustains us through the turmoil of life…but greater still…He changes us as He sustains us. The goal of life, and consequently the goal of all that we experience within our blip on the screen…is for our sanctification…for our growth…for our becoming more and more like Christ as we see more and more of Him.
Nothing accomplishes this like the riding out the storm. Though it looks like He is sleeping in the boat, His power over the wind and waves has not diminished.
Nothing accomplishes this like enduring the test. Though it seems like all hope is lost and our flesh is failing, His flesh didn’t fail and we are given His Spirit within.
Nothing accomplishes this like being face to face with an immense trial of will and character. Though the pot is boiling hot and it seems that we will be consumed, we see that He is gently skimming the impurities and imperfections from the top.
He wants to see His face.
Jesus draw me nearer. So that the treasure of your likeness is formed in me.