I have a favourite song, YOU RAISE ME UP.
I recently attended a performance by Harrison Craig at Jupiter’s Casino on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where he sang the song with such passion that reinforced the inspiration I receive from the words. (Check his recording of the song on YouTube.)
I remember the first time I took note of the words of the song. The last line had particular significance for me, “You raise me up to more than I can be.” I don’t know what the writer intended with those words, but for me they mean, “You inspire and motivate me to believe that I can achieve far more than I ever imagined I could.”
Here’s an example. About six years ago, at the age of 57, I joined a Masters Swimming Club. Since my youth, I’ve made irregular attempts at maintaining some degree of fitness, which included occasional swimming sessions if I was living near a public pool. I used to think that 500 metres was a reasonable effort (ten lengths of an Olympic pool). However, when I joined the swim club, I was mixing with other members who swim two or three kilometres in a training session (50 to 60 lengths of the Olympic pool).
Initially I was prepared to just accept that I was at a different standard from the others, and would be satisfied to improve at a comfortable rate. That attitude quickly dissolved when the club coach, who runs our training session once a fortnight, started challenging me to take on some routines that were way outside my comfort zone – initially exhausting. I had the choice at that point to persevere to get myself to the level she was challenging me to reach, or to leave the club and just continue with some improved, but still comfortable personal swimming goals.
I decided to accept the challenge of staying with the club, persevering with whatever routines the coach includes in the training sessions, and challenging myself to include routines of increasing degrees of difficulty in my personal training sessions. (No more relaxing one kilometre swims.)
Now, six years later, at the age of 63, I’m swimming at a standard I never imagined possible in my teens and early adult years.
Because someone came into my life “who raised me up to more than I could be.” – a mentor I didn’t have in my youth to speak some higher beliefs into me about my capacity to achieve through the application of disciplined commitment.
BIG LESSON HERE FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I’ve learnt out of this experience is the importance of valuing people who have the capacity to inspire and motivate you to think bigger and achieve greater, and then making the determination to embrace the life transforming opportunities that have been made available to you through those people.
The other part of the lesson is the importance of identifying the people you encounter in your journey through life WHO NEED YOU to raise them up to aspire to levels of achievement and purpose in life beyond their imagination.
The song has another special significance for me. The words of the song describe the experience I occasionally have at 3am if I wake up struggling with anxiety, or worries about one or more of the issues of life I have on my mind at the time (Let’s be honest and just call them fears.). I’ve learnt that the best thing I can do when this happens is firstly to stop trying to get back to sleep. Then get out of bed and go to a place in the house or yard where I can sit quietly and talk with God about the situations confronting me.
Invariably, when I do this, my perspective of the situations change. My attitude to them turns from worry to trust, and subsequently joy and peace, as my belief that God has everything in control, increases.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the circumstances will change or the difficulties subside. However, my belief that I will be able to get through the situations with His help gives me the confidence to face the day more peacefully.
Look at the words of the song and you’ll identify the experience I’m talking about:
When I am down and oh my soul so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be,
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit a while with me.
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
You raise me up to more than I can be.
Here are a couple of bible passages which reflect my experiences.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Proverbs 3: 25, 26 (NIV)
Have no fear of sudden disaster or the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
I remember being at the coast in the surf one day with my grandson when he was about four years old. I was holding him as the wave bashed against us. He said, “Grand dad, take me out into the rough part and put me on your shoulders.” So that’s what we did. He was having a great adventurous time shouting with excitement believing that he was totally safe above the waves on my shoulders, while I was getting pounded.
I realised from that experience, that in times of challenge, I need to visualise myself on the shoulders of Jesus, in a place of peace amidst the storms of life.
Jesus was the ultimate mentor to his disciples. He raised them up to operate in the supernatural level of life. He even called one of them to walk on water with him.
Now he has left us with another mentor/counsellor, called the Holy Spirit.
There is a verse in the New Testament which encourages me to persevere with developing an increasingly close relationship with him, with the belief that what God can do with my life is beyond my comprehension.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.
If you’ve got any questions about concepts mentioned in this item, please send me an email.