There is this weird, universal coincidence where artists release songs just when I need them the most. During my first semester in college Michael Buble’s hit song “Home” was released. The month prior to my 22nd birthday, Taylor Swift’s “22” came out. When I was looking for my first, full time job in ministry, Hillsong’s “Oceans” was the biggest hit in the worship top 40. And, last spring, when my life came to a standstill, “Fight Song” hit the airwaves.
Some mornings are memorable. Some mornings, you wake up and you do something amazing, or maybe not so amazing, but you remember what you did. You remember the people you spent the day with, the work that was done, and the memories that were made. Maybe they aren’t specific, but general. Maybe they aren’t exciting, but existent. However, you remember.
But what happens when you don’t? I’m not talking about loosing my memory, or blocking out time. No, I know that I did things, however, at the time, my life had hit a long pause. I felt like I was in an eternal funk. The year prior I had felt like I was running—constantly moving to the next best thing. God had me in movement. God had me in change. God had me.
Something changed though. It’s like we were driving down the road and we hit this red light. Not just any red light, the red light that is 5 minutes long. You know, the one in your town. It’s the one that you avoid at all costs. The one that you’ll only hit if you get lost or forgot where you were going, or absolutely must pass in order to get where you need to go. Well, this is where God led me. He led me to that red light that lasted far longer than I had wanted it to. I had places to go in life. I had goals. I had things that I wanted to see and do and be a part of. I had a timeline. And God said stop.
So, I sat there.
I waited patiently.
I waited hesitantly.
I waited impatiently.
I waited hopelessly.
I became numb.
I don’t know where you are today. Maybe you are in the season of go, and you are moving from one thing to the next. But maybe, you aren’t. Maybe you are like me not too long ago and your story has stopped. You feel like you have lost your purpose, that your destiny is dull and boring, and that you aren’t going anywhere.
You feel alone. You feel lost. You feel like someone has robbed you of your dreams.
What if I told you that you are not alone or lost? What if I told you that your dreams are still intact? What if I told you that God commands us not to be discouraged and that this “red light” has purpose?
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10, NLT
The great thing about the moments in life where our story hits a snag and we are stuck is that we are not stuck. The great thing about serving our God is that He uses those “red lights” as a part of our story. He uses those pauses to highlight our weaknesses, to make us dependent on Him, and to ultimately strengthen us.
So as I sat there at my metaphorical red light stuck, numb, and motionless, “Fight Song” entered my life. Sometimes we need something to tell us it’s okay to fight. Sometimes we need something to tell us that our life is worth more than we know. Sometimes we need an anthem.
And so as I listened to the words of this top 40 hit, I began to realize something—I had given up the fight, I had stopped living my life, and had allowed others to define my status. I had allowed my circumstances to control me, mold me, and rob me. I had stopped becoming who God made me to be. I had become discouraged.
I’d like to wrap this up with a pretty bow saying I don’t need this anthem anymore, but here’s the truth: I do still need “Fight Song” as my anthem. I still need that reminder that my story is going to be hard sometimes, but my life is worth taking back. I still need that reminder that my life dreams and goals are worth the fight. And I still need that reminder that when we hit a “red light”, and life stops, it’s only temporary.
If there is one thing I know, it’s this—your story is so great that God needs you to be rested and strong for the fight. So turn on your anthem, your “Fight Song”, and rock out during that red light. Because when God hits pause on our journey, we have a choice. We can be discouraged, or allow Him to use this time for rest and strengthening—a time to continue becoming who He made us to be.