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There are so many ups and downs in life

There are so many ups and downs in life that affects all of us in different ways. These ups and downs are what make us. They are what defines us in the sense that we as humans can choose to learn from them. Everything that transpires in life has a purpose that’s given to us by God, the one who ordains everything. One of the most astounding gifts given to us by God is music which can help heal us from the pains, stress, and experiences of life in a healthy way. There are several songs that defines me and relate to me in life. These musical compositions have a deep and spiritual meaning to me.

One of the most heartwarming songs I have ever heard that applied to me was a song by Tauren Wells, “God’s Not Done With You.” The opening lyrics of Tauren Wells’s song are, “Standing in your ruins feels a lot like the end. So used to losing, you're afraid to try again” (Tauren Wells). These lyrics best highlights the frustration that I can have in my walk with Christ. I personally have been a Christian since I was little. But that doesn't mean I have lived my life without any regrets from past mistakes. As a human being, I have done things that I wish I hadn’t done. If I could, I would change them, but I can’t. Regret is something that is part of humanity. As a Christian, I am called to serve God and others and to be a good representation of Christ. But because of my past failures, that task seems more and more difficult and I can sometimes feel frustrated with myself. 

But this kind of feeling and doubt is a normal thing in every Christian life. That is why Pastor Paul Washer once said, “Genuine Christians will doubt their salvation at times.” (Red Grace). But even though I may fail and I may doubt myself, I have this assurance that God is always with me and will never leave me no matter how bad I can screw up. And that is why the chorus of the song means so much to me. In the song, the chorus says, “God's not done with you, even with your broken heart and your wounds and your scars. God's not done with you, even when you're lost and it's hard and you've fallen apart. God's not done with you. It's not over, it's only begun. So don't hide, don't run Cause God's not done with you.” (Tauren Wells). This assurance that God will never give up on me is brought to me by my faith and by my trust in the Bible where it says that God and his grace is eternal. Although God’s grace doesn't give me a pass to do whatever I want, it gives me a new chance to do things biblically right and it gives me a new motivation to do good to the world.

One song that relates to me in the same, but deeper way is a song by Christian Metalcore Band, Wolves At The Gate. The Song is called, “The Sea In Between.” There are so many lyrics in this song that identifies to me a lot. But there are two consecutive lines of lyrics that is the most relatable to me. The first of these two lines says, “I will accept my death for it is warranted and true.” (Wolves At The Gate). This set of lines relates to me because it gives an important detail about how I view life and death and my identity. The life that we have in this world is very short and everyone wants to live it full and happy. Some people don’t accept death and have pride, telling themselves they’re immortal. But I have accepted the fact that this life is short and there is an eternal afterlife after this. And because of that, I shall live my life to the absolute fullest and serve the God of my identity.

The second line of this Wolves At The Gate song says, “But I cannot come to grips with separation from You.” (Wolves At The Gate). When it comes to my identity, I can identify as many things in regards to my Hispanic ethnicity to my nationality. But the number one thing I identify as is a Christian. My religion and relationship with God is the most important thing to me. It is the number one thing that I live by. My faith has shaped me in every aspect of my life, from my views to the person I strive to be. Unlike other Christians, I wasn’t raised in a complete Christian family. I had to make a choice whether I will dedicate my life to Christ or not. Ultimately, I choose to live my life with the purpose of serving the one who died for my sins. I don’t regret it. Everything that I am now is all thanks to him, the God who sent his only son down to the broken world thousands of years ago. There is no turning back for me and a life without Christ for me is a life not worth living. I can’t imagine a life without my faith and I don’t know where I would be without it. Just as God will never give up on me no matter what, I will never let go of my belief in God no matter what.

A third song that has lyrics that applies to me is a song from Christian rock band Disciple called, “Once And For All.” Like the other songs, there are several lines that I connect with. One of those lines from this song says, “I'm done trying to hide my life away from mercy's eyes.” (Disciple). This highlights the times when I got on my knees and repented from my sins. Since I am not perfect, I have done mistakes and these mistakes are mostly sins against God. Whenever, I commit a sin, the feelings of frustration would set in because I have failed a perfect God. But I can be forgiven by God if I set my trust in him and repent of my sins. Faith and repentance are the two most important things needed for salvation in Christianity. And in a way, they work together. When I hear that line from the song, it’s a reminder to me of the times when I sinned and was sorry for them, I got on my knees and prayed for forgiveness. I had faith and trust that God’s love and forgiveness is eternal because that’s who he, confirmed to us by the Bible. And I then change and make the choice to never sin again. I turn my sin and set my focus back on God, the ones with eyes of mercy that spreads like fire. I will never hide and waste my life away in worthless things ever again.

But one of the most powerful set of lines to me, theologically and personally states, “You made right what I made wrong. You put an end to who I was. All the shame that's in my soul, met Your grace and it’s no more.” (Disciple). These lines best illustrates what the grace of God does to me. When I repent and have faith in Christ Jesus, he forgives me and gives me a second chance at life. The old me dies and a new and improved version of me is reborn. But the most impactful thing God’s grace does for me is that it redeems me. I am given redemption and because of that, I no longer have to live in shame and condemnation for what I did wrong. Everything in life happens for a reason and God will take what I have done wrong and fix it. He makes the things I have done wrong into the things I will do right. And with my second chance, I shall do what’s correct in his eyes and I will give him all my praise and all the glory because he’s the only one worthy of it.

Another song that I relate with is "Even If" by a Christian band called MercyMe. The most beautiful and relatable lyrics from this song is in the chorus where it sings, “I know You're able and I know You can. Save through the fire with Your mighty hand. But even if You don't, My hope is You alone. I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt. Would all go away if You'd just say the word. But even if You don't, My hope is You alone.” (MercyMe). This whole chorus is a set of lines that works together to best illustrate my answer to one of the biggest questions in the spiritual world. Why does God allow pain and suffering? This is a question that has shaken so many Christians, philosophers, and people who are asking questions. Pastor Dr. Charles Stanley describes it as, “a very interesting question and one that people have asked down through the centuries and they will ask until Jesus comes.” (In Touch Ministries). However, even though some may sit in a rut trying to solve a puzzle, the answer is actually simple. The reason God allows pain, suffering, and evil is the same reason that God allows anything to happen. Everything is all part of the plan of God and the plan of God will ultimately give him full glory. Since everything is part of the savior’s master plan, absolutely nothing (especially all pains and sufferings) is meaningless. Pastor John Piper best explained it saying, “Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don't care if it was cancer or criticism. I don't care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn't meaningless, it's doing something! it's not meaningless. Of course you can't see what he is doing. Don't look to what is seen.” (Desiring God). The Bible commands us to live by faith and not by what we can see. The pains of life will be harder to handle for those who don’t believe. However, that doesn't mean that the loyal Christian will not experience any hardships in life.

I have experienced the hardship of loss in my life. My grandfather from my mother’s side got severly ill a few years ago. I have prayed to God and asked him to heal them. But he never did and my grandfather died in Peru. But I have not let that stop me from believing in God. I still believe after all that I lived through. God is all powerful and all knowing. If he wanted to stop something, he would. But the main idea of the chorus is that even if he doesn’t and the world falls apart, faith will still remain. And just as the lyrics say, my hope will still on Christ alone even if he says no to something that I asked for. That’s because I do not praise him for what he has done for me. I deserve nothing from him. I am only a person who has done mistakes but is forgiven. Instead, I praise him because of who he is. He is the king of kings, the God of all things, and the creator. All of this also relates to a verse in the Bible that impacted me completely. It was Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB), “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Because I am forgiven and redeemed, the regrets that I have are now fading away. Looking back, I am thankful for the scars that I received from the pains of life trails and mistakes. That’s because without them, I wouldn’t become a better person and I wouldn’t be the person that I have become today. So let the challenges of tomorrow come my way and I will look to God for guidance. And even if I fail, his love and forgiveness will save me in a way that I can’t comprehend. And even if I suffer more losses that God decides to put my way, I will still bless him and trust him because of the plan that he has for all of us and for his glory.

The final song that contains lyrics that apply to my life is from a small Christan Metalcore band from New York that is now inactive. This band is called Where Fire May Fail and the song is called, “The Embers.” In this song, the chorus proclaims, “We are the stones, Anchored in the waves. We are the Embers That spark the way.” (Where Fire May Fail). These lyrics reminds me of my calling as a Christian. It is written in the Bible that Christians are not part of this world and all have the same purpose in this world of pointing others to Christ. Ever Adam and Eve broke the only rule that God has given them, humanity was cursed with sin and evil in the world. However, every human is accountable for their actions and each individual will be held accountable for the actions that they had made as an individual in their time on earth. As we stand and face judgement before God, he will either sends us to heaven or hell. God’s expectations are extremely high and since nobody is perfect, we all fall short of the standards of God. But there is hope because approximately 2,000 years ago, God’s only son Jesus Christ came down on this earth and lived like a man for thirty years. Then, he completed his mission on earth. He was taken by the people and was killed by the most brutal execution method in all of history, crucifixion. But in his death, he saved humanity from their sins. In his death, he paid the ultimate price that all of humanity owed to God for their sins. In his death, he became the ultimate sacrifice that humanity needed. In his death, the power of Satan over humanity was destroyed. And to prove to the world that he is God and that death and evil didn’t had the final say, Jesus Christ resurrected on the third day and started a new covenant that Christians lived by. Now, because of what Christ did for us, we as humans no longer have to accept hell and we no longer are powerless to the sins of the world. We can be free in Christ, if we choose to believe, repent, and have complete and absolute faith in him.

However, many people in the world have yet to hear the good news. People out there are in need of hope and purpose. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus promised that he will return. But he won’t come back until everyone has heard the good news. The last order Jesus gave to his disciples was to go out and preach the gospel to all. And that is why Christians in this world all have the same goal, to point others to Christ. But just like one peice of the body functions differently than the other, so does one Christian have a different calling than another. I personally believe that I have found my calling in music and politics. And because I am a Christian that wants to do God proud, I will live out my calling and serve God and his purpose. I will do my part in the mission to point others in Christ. It’s not only just a matter of time, but it’s a matter of God’s time. My main hope is that he will guide me in every step of the way. But Christians are like embers, that shines the bright light of Christ and helps light the way to him for the lost.

Music is a powerful gift. It is probably one of the best tools God has given us. And music has become one of the most important things in my life besides my faith. There are songs that heals me. There are songs that convicts me. And there are songs that strengthens me. Whether one chooses to believe in God and his son Jesus Christ is their own personal choice. But one thing that they cannot deny is that one of the things that he has created, music, is beautiful.