Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Can Only Imagine

Today in my Core Group worship, I shared a video of a beautiful Christian song, I Can Only Imagine. Former 1st and 2nd grade teacher Eldora Kaiser sent me the link a few weeks ago and I knew as soon as I saw it that I would share it with the five young people who meet with me most Thursday mornings for worship.

The song had its genesis about 16 years ago when 18 year old Bart Millard was trying to deal with the death of his father after a long battle with cancer. He started thinking about heaven and what it would be like when he would reunite with his father one day , and what it would be like to meet his savior face to face. “I can only imagine,” he wrote. He found himself repeating that phrase over and over, writing it on napkins, on scraps of paper, every time he felt lonely for his father. Imagining heaven somehow gave him the strength to go on with his life.

Years later, when Millard was a member of the fledgling Christian singing group “Mercy Me,” he rediscovered the phrase in an old notebook and was reminded how that imagining got him through a difficult period of his life. He sat down, and ten minutes later he had the lyrics to a song that has comforted millions since. "The song is not about crossing our fingers and hoping that God is out there somewhere,” he says, “but it's about resting easier at night knowing that there is one true, living God who is crazy in love with us so much so that he desires us to spend eternity with him.”

I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk by Your side...
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see, when Your Face is before me!
I can only imagine. I can only imagine.

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine, when that day comes, when I find myself standing in the Son!
I can only imagine, when all I will do, is forever, forever worship You!
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

After we watched the video, we talked about how the promise of heaven can inform our days and bring us courage in our darkest moments. Later, I sent the link to each student with the encouragement to watch it again. “Someday we won’t have to imagine," I wrote. "We’ll see Jesus face to face and experience heaven for ourselves.” A few hours later, I got a reply from one student: “I can’t wait for that day.”

You know, some days I just love this job! Today is one of them.


Heidi said...

Wow... I didn't realized the "back story" to "I can only imagine." That's powerful. Knowing the history of the song gave it greater significance when I watched/listened to the presentation. With the picture of Jesus hugging an individual, I wanted that individual to be me. It will be so wonderful not to have to imagine, but to know Jesus face-to-face. Thanks for sharing!

Sunny said...

I'm quite taken with it too.

Linda said...

This is so beautiful. I keep coming back to it to read it over and over. Thank you for sharing. I really like to read your blog. It is so uplifting. Thank you and God bless you. Linda in Ca