Written by: Dcs. Heidi Goehmann
Two years ago we came out of one of the most difficult times in our lives. We had a season like no other of fighting the good fight, standing strong, and letting God hold us up when we had nothing left.
One day, during the struggle, we were driving from somewhere to something. What it was, I can’t even remember, and it hardly matters. What I remember was my husband blaring the radio to some song.
My nerves were on edge and I asked him to turn it down.
“So, it’s kind of loud.”
His response: “Yep.”
“No, I mean, it’s really loud.” I lean up to turn it down. Insert death glare from my husband here. I leaned back. Now, he’s singing along.
I lose it. “Dave, seriously, can’t we turn it down. This is ridiculous. You’re not even listening to me. It’s TOO LOUD!”
My husband, who asks for so very little, you have to understand. He rarely has an opinion about anything less than what is eternally significant. He looked at me and his eyes turned a little sad. “Can’t you hear it? Listen.”And so I did. I listened.
You hold my head up.
You remind me who I am.
You hold my head up.
I’m alive in You again.
I’m made new.
(Made New, Lincoln Brewster)*
What I didn’t understand, that became crystal clear in a moment, was that my husband needed to know that God called him loved and that God called him ransomed, that God called him new. I had spent so much of my time concerned with my own needs, particularly in our struggle and suffering. I was raging against God, yelling at Him in the dark of night, and offering my tears as a living sacrifice of prayer. My husband, however, was clinging to what He knew, what He had read in the Word, what He had been instructed in since he was a tow-headed toddler on chubby legs.
This song in that moment reminded him of the Biblical truths stored deep in His heart – he was God’s. He was held by God. He was made new in God. Maybe most importantly during that time for him was this message, though…God lifts our heads, God lifts our shame.
We hear this Truth in Isaiah 35:8-10 –
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
We walk a road, even in trouble and difficulty, that is not shaming. We walk a road paved by the Savior of the world, who has gone before us. We will not be attacked by ravenous beasts, although sometimes it feels like it. This is the road for the redeemed. The devil, he tries, but he may not have us. Jesus keeps us on the path, walking sure and strong, heads held high. Though we may feel like tucking our tails, hiding away beneath a rock, Christ is the one holding our faces high. His intercession for us reminds us Whose we are. We belong to the Most High God. We are Holy, because He is Holy. We have been ransomed – brought out – of whatever has tried to overcome us.
Everlasting joy is on our heads, not guilt, not struggle, not shame.
Psalm 47:5-7 –
God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
Look also a couple chapters later at Psalm 49:7-8, as well as 49:15.
Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice…
But God will ransom my soul from the
power of Sheol,
for he will receive me.
He is King. Only He can save. Only He is enough. No person, no man, no ruler, no idea can rescue us, can bring us out and lift our heads as He can.
Only He determines our value and He calls us worth ransoming.
Thank you, Lord! Hold your heads up, child of God! You have been brought out. You have been ransomed.