Never Once

A year ago we filed into the church pews, sang hope-filled Truth-songs, heard words of love and legacy and faith, and said good-bye to my dad. Hundreds came to the funeral. Many I didn’t know and had never seen before. People of all sizes, ages, colors, nationalities,  and social classes. People came to honor dad and grieve with us. For my own family, personally, we were blessed, touched, uplifted and comforted by several of our dear friends who traveled to share our sorrow and honor my dad. They didn’t have to come. They didn’t have to rearrange schedules, miss work, and travel from other states to minister to us, but they did and a year later I am still moved to tears by it.

My friend sent me Matt Redman’s song “Never Once” yesterday and, although I already know the song, God’s faithfulness struck me again. I know the song is primarily about God never leaving us or forsaking us, but I realize over and over again that He shows us that enduring love by sending others to be there physically. “Never once did you ever walk alone.” His love and grace and mercy are manifest in the love and grace and mercy tangibly displayed by the people in our lives. Sometimes the people are highly intentional–like my friend sending me the song–but often times, God uses prayers, phrases, songs, hugs and merciful words without the people realizing the enormous impact of their actions.

Thank you, lovely friends, for walking beside our family for the past year plus. Thank you for the grace, mercy and kindness offered through your physical presence at the funeral, through your life-giving words, through your constant reminders that you are with us in our hurt, and through your encouragement and prayers now, a year later.

I hope, dear reader, that you’ll be spurred on to offer life-giving encouragement to someone today. I *know* someone in your life is hurting and needs to know love and grace. Will you be the one to offer it?

Never Once by: Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far weve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much Youve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore well be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

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