“Whom Shall I Fear”, Chris Tomlin, Worship Songs and Changing Circumstances

You hear me when I call, You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies, Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name, For You alone can save
You will deliver me, Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear

And nothing formed against me shall stand, You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)
By Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Scott Cash, EMI

Tonight at church I sang a song I hadn’t sung in almost a year. I posted the lyrics above. A little over a year ago Chris Tomlin released a new record, and this was one of the songs from it that churches began to sing in worship. I liked it, catchy tune. Easy to sing.

Not too long after that my work world was rocked by the abrupt explosion of my main freelance gig. In one swoop I lost half my income. I was forced to dive into my corporate AV gig, working too many hours for not enough pay. As I watched my time with family shrink at the same time our savings dwindled, listening to this song was hard.

The one who goes before me? Who stands behind? Who walks beside me? Where was he when my employment took a dive? I take my responsibilities to provide for my family very seriously. I felt like I had been left open on this one.

I knew, of course, that things could be much worse. I had a home, food, and even full medical from my place of under-employment. But I still had some issues with the situation. This was a new experience for me. I was frustrated.

I knew that God was with us. I believed that he had plans for our good (Jer 29:11) and that all of this would somehow work together for our good (Rom 8:28). But I wasn’t feeling that at all. It was hard to see it in day to day life. The song would come on the radio or up in my playlist, and I would listen and feel frustrated.

Fast forward to tonight. In three days I travel to Texas to start the next chapter of my life. I’m going to be doing something I love at a great church. We really feel God brought us to this place, at the time. So when that song started tonight, I had a totally different experience.

If the events of last year never happened, the likelihood of us ever moving to Texas would have been greatly reduced. The things I have learned while trusting God to provide this past year… I’m not saying you should run out and take a job that pays half what you need to live, but you really learn to trust him in this kind of thing. God really was going before, behind, and beside us.

I’m always amazed at the way you experience worship based on where you are in life, and how God is dealing with you at that time.

How do your circumstances effect your worship experiences?