Matthew West has a voice you can’t ignore and he can interpret lyrics that grabs your heart. I wish I could go to the Braves game to hear him tonight, but instead, I will share one of his new songs on his acoustic album, The Writer’s Room. I searched the lyrics and found out that it was first recorded as a country song. It speaks deeply about what life was like before a relationship with God. Listen to the song and I will tell you about April 24, 1979:
Saturday, April 21, 1979 – The Day Before You
Some people do not remember the day they met Jesus for the first time and began their relationship with Him, but I do remember. It was in my Junior year of high school at a small church on a Sunday night. Knowing the exact day and hour is not the point, but for me the point was that the day before Jesus was very different from every day since.
This song interpreted by Matt West is a popular wedding song. Jesus is the love of my life, my passion, so the song fits and it explains what knowing Him means to me personally.
Raised in a large family, I had 7 brothers and sisters and many more first cousins coming from 18 aunts and uncles and that is just on my mother’s side. We lived in a large restored farmhouse originally built around 1700s in Western New York. We had fields and woods and lots of places to play growing up. I had a mother who stayed at home with her kids. I remember her waiting for the school bus as we sat on old newspapers so I wouldn’t get my dress dirty. My father worked two and three jobs to take care of us. You would think I would never be lonely, but I was. I was always different from my family and it was lonely. A line in the song says,
It was the last day that I ever lived alone
How could a middle daughter in a family of 10 ever live alone? I lived alone in my heart. I have learned that loneliness comes from something God planted in my heart before I was born – a deep longing to know Him.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV)
I know that God wants to have a relationship with us so the chorus of The Day Before You hits my heart:
Now you’re here and everything’s changing
Suddenly life means so much
I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow
and find out this promise is true
I will never have to go back
to the day before you
Saturday, April 21, 1979 was a lonely day. I gave up believing that anyone could be trusted or that anyone would ever love me for who I was, but that was the day for Him. Over 30 years later (11,000 days later), and I still experience the flush of first love when I am still long enough to enjoy our relationship.
I had all but given up on finding the one
that I could fall into
On the day before you
I was ready to settle for less than love
and not much more
There was no such thing as a dream come true
But that was on the day before you
On Saturday, April 21, 1979, I was not sure there was even a god, much less understand how I could relate to Him. But that was the day before HIM. Jesus was not much more than the plaster Jesus hanging on the wall, but that was the day before Him. On Sunday, April 22, 1979, Jesus came off that wall and became real in my life, no He became my life.
After He became my life, I wondered why I had not known Him sooner. I would look at my college friends who were raised to know Him and was jealous that they knew Him longer. I wondered why He didn’t rescue me from myself before I was a teenager. Why did I have to live so lonely for so long? I was kind of mad at Him for waiting so long. God knew the best time for us to meet and drew me close at just the right moment. All the broken things in my past, made me ready for Him and ready to help others know Him. I think it was Brennan Manning who said, “In the service of love, God only uses wounded warriors.”
In your eyes I see forever
and it makes me wish that my life never knew
the day before you
Oh, but heaven knows those years without you
were shaping my heart for the day that I found you
And if you’re the reason for all I’ve been through
then I’m thankful for the day before you
I am thankful Lord, for the day before you.
Tell me about YOUR DAY BEFORE….