This song began as a melody with a completely different lyric – written by a fantastic writer called busbee, who may not be familiar to that many people, but in the last couple of years has become an enormously successful writer of pop songs for some of the biggest artists in the business. I absolutely love the melody, and mutual friend of ours suggested I have a go at writing a lyric – which busbee was very gracious about!
I sometimes find church life can become very complicated – lots of activity and busy programs, lots of strategic thinking and intricate planning. In recent months I’ve been drawn again and again to 1 Cor 13 – that you can be doing amazing, powerful, even sacrificial things in church life – but if you don’t have love, it doesn’t count for anything.
But also, in keeping with the theme of the album it comes from, I wanted to remind us that, yes, God’s love is expressed in His forgiveness and power in our lives; but it is also expressed in the discipline He brings – for those God loves, He disciplines. So we have this mystery that our suffering can be a sign of God’s love for us – that He is working something profound and powerful in our lives, that can’t be worked in us by blissfully sailing through life. That’s a difficult but powerful lesson to learn!
What love is this, that always gives
And never counts the cost,
That beats within the heart of God
With passion for the lost;
That lifts me from my wretchedness
And clothes me in His righteousness?
Be my joy and my light.
What love is this that purges fear
And cancels every sin,
Yet loves enough to lead me through
The fires of discipline?
The suffering that works in me,
The jewel of humility.
Be my comfort and guide.
What love is this,
What priceless gift so freely poured on me?
If all the wealth of earth was mine
No richer would I be;
The greatest prize to know the King,
And know that I am loved by Him.
Be my hope and my light.