Chapel – 5/5/20
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Ps. 118:24
“Leave It There”
You may not recognize this man. His name is Charles A. Tinley. Pastor Tinley was an important preacher in the Methodist church around the turn of the century, the 20th Century that is! His trademark was taking hymns in a new direction. His hymns were highly influenced by the blues and jazz of the early 1900’s. His “new” hymns were quickly popular with the African-American sector because they had been singing these types of “gospel” hymns for a long time. What made him so popular? The message in his songs struck a common nerve with his people who had very vivid and recent memories of the lingering consequences of slavery. Interestingly, that nerve has been struck anew in 2020 if in a different way with this pandemic.
In Psalm 55:22, King David wrote these lyrics to a song he probably sang to and with his people: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Pastor Tinley turned these words into a song of his own which has stood the test of time. Even Jesus urged His people to do the same: Matt. 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” The apostle Peter echoed these same thoughts: I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Pastor Tinley’s song is titled “Leave It There.” A “country” version of this song is shared below, but please read on to get the rest of the story.
How easy is it to leave things in God’s hands? What should be a natural inclination of fallen human beings to give ALL of our problems over to an all powerful God, falls well short. If we’re honest with ourselves, we tend to try to “fix” things first before going to God. Why? Maybe it’s our sinful pride in our own abilities and egos. Maybe it’s a doubt whether God can really fix our problems. Maybe it’s our impatience. Maybe it’s (______________you fill in the blank!) Jesus knew how much our problems could eat us up, mentally, physically, and spiritually. What He is offering to each one of us each day and through any crisis is His peace and TOTAL reassurance that we can leave it with Him. He’s got this! Jesus even asked this question, “If our heavenly Father takes care of birds and flowers so thoroughly, won’t He care even more for us?” “Come to Me first,” Jesus might say! Surely, each one of us could be much better at leaving things at the cross of Christ.
This brings us to the husband and wife team that sings the attached song, Joey and Rory Feek. Both earned some degree of success in the country music business, but were by no means “stars.” They were both, however, outstanding Christian people who lived their faith each day which is reflected in many of their songs. They covered Pastor Tinley’s century old song in 2014 after they were told that Joey (wife) had cancer. They were told that she only had a year, maybe two, to live. That same year, the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter, Indiana. Indy, as they had come to call her, was born with Down syndrome. What more could happen to this family? Sadly, Joey was called to her heavenly home in March of 2016. One of her final wishes was to have Bradley Walker (a country music star who has been in a wheelchair his whole life due to muscular dystrophy) sing “Leave It There” at her funeral. Her final wish was honored. What a tremendous witness to hundreds, and maybe millions of people, who saw how faithfully these people took God up on His timeless invitation to turn everything over to Him. They found peace in taking their burden to God and leaving it in His hands. His peace is what heals.
There is no shortage of burdens that need to be turned over to God today. He still invites each one of us to put things in His hands…our school work, our jobs, our health, our government and its leaders, our loved ones, our way of doing things, our future and what it will look like, etc. Jesus knows what we need, He’s offering His peace, He’s offering healing,and He says, “Leave this with Me!.”
(Warning–it’s country!) Song: “Leave It There” written by Charles A. Tinley. Joey and Rory Feek (Live)
They perform just two of the four original verses of Tinley’s song.