Today’s devotion is written by Katie Gustafson. Katie lives in Nashville where she leads worship at churches and conferences locally and beyond. Her father played a key part in the formation of what was then known as Hosanna! Integrity Music, and Katie found herself constantly surrounded by all things worship. She was immersed in new songs that were being written around her and grew accustomed to worship leaders being in and out of the house, as well as travelling with her dad for conferences and speaking engagements. She started writing and recording her own songs in graduate school, while studying counselling and psychology. Katie’s heart for worship and the Church reflect her own journey of healing and growing intimacy with Jesus, coming to know and believe God’s goodness and desire for relationship with His children.
Along with writing songs and leading worship, I work as a therapist, journeying with men and women, who seek deeper emotional and spiritual growth. It’s my “day job” and such an honor. The therapeutic journey varies from person to person, however, lately, I’m seeing a common chord.
As a kid, my whole family would pile in our old-school station wagon (you know the one with the wood paneling on the sides) and truck it all the way from Mobile, AL to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado to go skiing. I remember thinking it was the longest distance in the world. There were lots of pit stops and sleepy stretches, (especially in TX) where the only vehicles we’d pass were UPS trucks. Boring!!! But oh how I would love the last few hours of that drive when patches of crunchy white snow became more regular and my hand tested the car windows to finally find freezing. We were not in Alabama anymore. It was glorious.
The distance between the head and the heart may literally only be a matter of inches, yet figuratively far apart and sometimes treacherous to travel. As I sit and listen during counseling sessions, the record spins over and over…something like this: “I know God loves me and is good, yet I am so afraid of the future and just don’t feel I measure up.” There is a gaping disconnect between what we know in our minds and what we believe in our hearts. I know I’ve felt it in my own life.
The problem is that pure knowledge cannot save us; it’s not enough.
I love the passage in Mark where Jesus heals the boy possessed by an evil spirit. The exchange between the boy’s father and Jesus is priceless. As dad describes the heavy situation he begs, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If you can?” Everything is possible for him who believes!” The boy’s dad spills out, perhaps a bit embarrassed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I love it! What an honest and dichotomous cry for help?!
Stepping out with a heart of belief feels impossible when we are used to the safe, immobilizing voice of fear in our heads. My prayer is that as we take those first wobbly steps in faith, our knowledge will begin to be molded by God’s faithfulness along the way….and the scenery will become much more exciting.
Check out “Be Still My Soul”, written by Katie, and make sure to watch the New Song Cafe, as Katie shares her heart on the song.