“I have built a city here
Half with pride and half with fear
Just wanted a safer place to hide
I don’t want to be safe tonight”
-“Hurricane” by Jimmy Needham
Every time this song plays on Pandora Radio, it catches my ear and I stop whatever I’m doing to listen. I love this song, and yet it bothers me because I do want to be safe. I try to control my life because I’m afraid of what might happen if I’m exposed. I build my walls high, just like the song says. I believe people clutch control (or at least the idea of it) so strongly because of fear. We think, “If I can control this, then I can keep this bad thing from happening.” I’m terrified of being physically or emotionally exposed. To some degree, that is true of all of us.
If you’ve been in the church for very long at all, I’m sure you’ve heard things like, “Let God strip away everything that’s distracting you” or “As you get older, God will break away the things that don’t matter to get to the main thing.”
Strip away??? Tear down my walls? I don’t know about you, but that very concept is TERRIFYING to me. Mentally, it’s akin to standing in a hurricane, buck naked, with no shelter and no protection. Stripped down to my soul.
Here’s part of the chorus from “Hurricane”:
“I need You like a hurricane
Thunder crashing, wind and rain
To tear my walls down
I’m only Yours now”
I can tell you first hand that the pruning that God does as He molds His children is painful. But my mental picture is wrong—when we’re talking about God. I believe the reason for our terror is rooted in the fact that people let us down. You are not safe with humanity.
When I’m standing in the hurricane, stripped down to nothing but my trembling, sinful soul, I will not be let down by God.
The final verse of Jimmy Needham’s song:
“And it’s Your eye in the storm
Watching over me
And it’s Your eye in the storm
Wanting only good for me
And if You are the war
Let me be the casualty
‘Til I’m Yours alone”