Search Me O God

Search Me O God” song and video by Bill Hutzel

I had recently just become unemployed following the attack of 9/11, and was understandably anxious, desperately wanting to make sense of both the war on our country, and wanting to find gainful employment again. And so I became very introspective when things turned topsy-turvy on me.  I opened my Bible to Psalm 139 and the following verse spoke to me.  “Search me O God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any hurtful way in me”.  It became my meditation.

But as I meditated, I thought, God does know my heart. Why would the psalmist ask Him to search his heart? Why would anyone ask God to search their heart? But I knew the answer. It was because God knew me better than I did, and God wanted to reveal the deepest parts of myself.  Do you have the courage to ask God to expose the depths of your heart, to see if there be any hurtful way in you?

The psalmist David earnestly wanted to know what was in his heart so that God would refine him as fire refines gold. It is a hard prayer to pray, although, for if we are honest with ourselves, many of us would rather not face our deepest canyons.

We run and we hide from God saying,
7 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?”

If I say 11”Surely the darkness will hide me”, it will not.

If I go up to the heavens, He is there; if I make my bed in the depths, He is there.

Should you, however, being purified by Christ who indwells you, take heed of the Holy Spirit’s tugging at your heart to govern your flesh, you will be changed. It is God’s desire that we earnestly seek Him, and that He search our heart so that He might prove us by His Word and reveal to us any hurtful way, and that He would root it out, for godliness is pleasing to Him, and in the end, profitable to us. Romans 8:6 says “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”.

As I continued to meditate on this psalm, my prayer turned to asking God to guide me and extend His hand to me. My prayer turned into singing, and “the praise on my lips and the song in my heart” became a song that ran through my head to the words of the psalm. I jotted down the melody so as not to forget it. I later recorded it in October of 2013.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

May God’s search light break through the dark clouds that storms will doubtless bring. May His beacon light be your salvation, His strong light into your heart, that you may be guided to safety and spiritual well-being. And may the song in your heart and God’s praise continually be on your lips.

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

CREDITS
Composed by Bill Hutzel

Performed by The Throwbacks

Musicians
Bill Hutzel, Vocals and Flute
John D’Elia, 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, tambourine

Recorded and produced by John D’Elia
SuchClay Productions
September 18, 2013

Video Produced by Bill Hutzel

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Pick Me Up

The song and video “Pick Me Up” was inspired by Psalm 30. So often we fancy ourselves as secure, and think we can go it all alone.  But when God hides His face from me because I choose to go it on my own, my soul cries out to Him to “Pick Me Up, and turn me around … Lord set me free, for I’ve been going it on my own, now it’s time for me to come home, Help me get my feet back on the ground.”

David too had a propensity for going it on his own for he said “When all was well with me, I said, I will never be moved”.   In Psalm 30:7-11 it says that David then asked for God’s mercy as he was shaken because God turned his face from him.  God being compassionate, then lifts David from his troubles, turns his crying into dancing, and establishes his feet with joy on God’s firm foundation again.

What Pick Me Up verses in the Bible are you reminded of? What pick me up life experiences can you share?

Song by Bill Hutzel and John D’Elia

Arranged, produced and recorded by John D’Elia
Such Clay Productions

Performed by The Throwbacks
Bill Hutzel, vocals, flute and keyboard
John D’Elia, electric and bass guitars

Prayer: Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! (Psalm 71:20). Lord, help me get my feet back on the ground.

Copyright 2014 by Bill Hutzel

When Christmas Hurts

by Gabrielle Ariana

Are you facing loss and grief during the holidays?  You are not alone. Many feel betrayed or lost during the Christmas holiday season, perhaps because a relationship you trusted and relied upon had ended, or perhaps someone you loved passed away. Pain and confusion visited you at your loss, and you were unable to summon up the strength to listen to or sing Christmas carols. Although many of your friends rejoiced in the season of merry and invited you to celebrate with them, you couldn’t.

And now another holiday is upon you, one that many of you will also not be able to summon up good cheer. You will retire early, oblivious to the banging of kitchen pots, fireworks, and joyous shouts, a kiss, a warm embrace. In just a few days from now, the clocks will turn 12 o’clock, welcoming in another New Year.

My heart aches for you; and I pray that you will find the fortitude to seek strength, not from the world, but from Christ who came to shed all of your tears. Give all of your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).

Perhaps the song “When Christmas Hurts” will lift your spirits; it was a song written for you. It is a song of peace, hope, and love, especially for those whose hearts are broken and who grieve.

Is there hope for hearts like these?
Look at the manger scene!
Jesus Christ was born for those
who are broken and alone.

When Christmas hurts and hearts break,
it doesn’t change the reason we still have to celebrate.
When there is pain and tears are shed,
it still is the birthday of that special, precious Babe.
When the heartache is more than you can bear, Christ is the answer to your prayer…
When Christmas hurts”. (excerpt from Gabrielle Ariana’s song “When Christmas Hurts”)

God is present with every tear shed, and you can count on Him to collect every one of your tears.  No matter what sorrow you face today, you can have confidence He cares (Psalm 56:8).

Copyright 2016 by Bill Hutzel

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