Earlier this week I wrote a short song about Africa titled “Realization.” The lyrics begin, “You’re calling me to Africa/ You’re calling me to Africa/ You’re calling me to feel their hurt/ and I already do/ and I’ll gladly go/ leaning on Your strength.” These lyrics introduce the urge God has placed in me to be a missionary in Africa, something I have desired since I was a child.
The song continues with a realization that I’ve had recently: “But I’m missing the hope that pierces the darkness/ I’m missing Your life/ You are already there/ I’m missing Your hope/ ignoring Your healing/ I’m forgetting Your joy/ You are good everywhere/ But I want to be the one to say I fixed it.” I had been struggling to understand my feelings, not having words to express them, and God encouraged me to stay in the prayer chapel to write this song. Only when writing it did I realize that my pride has been obscuring the hope and beauty of what God is already doing around the world and at home.
After I realized that “I want to be the one to say I fixed it,” my realization continued, “And I can’t/ And I don’t wanna be the one in the end/ Lord, use me/ I am honored to be Your friend.” This struck me, and I pray that it will continue to humble me. I cannot fix Africa. If I cannot even understand myself, how can I single-handedly solve the world’s problems? When I wrote these lyrics and realized that I cannot solve the social problems of the world, I was filled with joy. I cannot fix this world, but Jesus will make all things new someday!
I finished the song with an open heart and some Spirit-led improv that is not included in these lyrics: “You’re calling me to Africa/ You’re calling me to Africa/ You’re calling me to trust You, Lord/ So I’ll gladly follow You/ resting in Your hope.”
John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.
-John 3: 27-30, NASB, the Word of the Lord, thanks be to God.