The Absolutes of Worship Songs: My Struggle with ‘You Are My Everything’

One worship song I always struggle with is “Revelation Song.” I like the message of the song. It’s God-glorifying. It’s Jesus-praising. My favorite line is this:

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is power, breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery

I love the acknowledgement of Christ as a mystery, something we can’t fully understand, something that means we’ve got to have faith in what we can’t see and what we can really only hope for.

But my anxious, analytical mind always gets stuck on one line: “You are my everything.”

Before we move forward: This is not a criticism of the song. Far be it from me to doubt the writer’s heart. Perhaps God is their everything.

But I’ve had a really hard time with that line. Why? God isn’t my everything.

One of the biggest struggles in dealing with anxiety as a Christian, at least on my end, is the absolute statements in worship songs. Some other examples of what I mean – “Where You go, I’ll go, where You stay, I’ll stay…I will follow you“; “It is well with my soul“; “Only You have all of me.” At base level, all of these are statements of absolutes, where a declaration of statement is made of something that is unequivocally whole and true.

Now, you might be wondering, “Zach, calm the flip down. Aren’t you overanalyzing this?” I just might be. Anxiety disorders often lead you to second-guess everything you say. And as a Christian, we know how our words carry weight. We also don’t want to lie. “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22). So when words like “You are my everything” are in a worship song, I go through a process of second-guessing before the notes are even played.

Maybe I’m just particularly sinful, the worst on the earth, but I don’t know if there are ever any moments in my life where that is the absolute thought of my heart, when that’s entirely what I believe.

It’s the curse of the perpetually anxious. This constant second-guessing of what I say isn’t limited to worship. It’s a minute-by-minute struggle. The uncertainty of my thoughts, coupled with a desire to tell the truth, particularly when it comes to spiritual things, leads to moments of overwhelming stress in decision-making, guilt for not feeling able to truthfully sing the lyrics, wondering if I’m just overthinking this whole thing, a constant questioning. I can’t emphasize how much this sucks.

Another side note: I don’t want this to be a post where you’re like, “Look at this guy, he thinks he’s so holy for not singing a worship lyric.” I want to sing it! I want it to be true! But when I look at my sinful self, I can’t sing it. I just can’t bring myself to do that. Plus, I’m about as far from obedient as you can get most days.

Again, I don’t want this to be a criticism of the songs or the songwriters or the people who sing them. I can’t sit here and say with absolute confidence that they’re lying when they write/sing that. This is just a day-to-day difficulty of being an anxious Christian.

On the flip side, I’m so thankful that there are some worship artists who do an incredible jobs of writing songs for me. In worship, we don’t want to be second-guessing our thoughts the whole time. We want to be confident, comfortable, assured. So below, I’ve made a playlist: Worship Songs for the Second-Guessers. There’s a Spotify link attached right here. These songs are characterized by three things: praise of Jesus, recognition of weakness and insufficiency on our part and they’re just so stinkin’ awesome.

And, to my knowledge, the only absolutes are absolutes about God, the only one we all can confidently make absolute statements about.

YouTube playlist below:

So if you’re like me, don’t feel bad for not being able to sing the lyrics of worship songs. It’s OK to take a break, to not sing it. Meditate on the grace of God, that He loves you in spite of you not being able to sing that honestly. He doesn’t look at you differently. He doesn’t think less of you. He still loves you and cares for you.

That’s something I can sing about all day long.


Clinging to the Only Truth I Know Will Hold Me: A Poem

Note: A poem about the faithfulness of God’s Word for someone dealing with an anxiety disorder. I’ve had a rough weekend with my anxiety over the last couple days. When it’s high, it’s so hard to trust anything, even the Word of God. This poem is a reminder to you, but most importantly to me, of how much I need to hold onto that Word that will never leave me high and dry.

Can I explain to you the importance of God’s Word?

See, my mind wanders a lot.
It goes back and forth, forth and back
I’ve learned I can’t really trust myself,
because my anxiety makes my brain lack.

What does it lack, you ask?

Peace, assurance, confidence, trust.
Oh, I want these things. I beg for these things.
But it seems that God doesn’t hear.
Those things, it doesn’t seem He brings.

I’ve been mad before.

Oh I’ve been furious. Pissed. Ticked.
Wondered how a good God could leave me like this.
I can’t trust myself? Seriously?
It seems my thought life’s been given a death kiss.

So what can I do?

The one and only hope I have
is clinging to the Word that always gives back.
The Word that says I’m loved
and God’s patience with me will never crack.

What does that Word say to me?

It says He’ll never leave nor forsake
though my mind wanders and doubts that all day.
It says He’s on my side all the time,
even when I feel the furthest away.

It says His love is greater than sin.
All I must do is let it in.

It says His patience is unparalleled,
so my heart will always be held.

It says don’t lean on my understanding
but trust Him with all, a sure standing.

It says He’ll support the blameless and meek
every single stinkin’ day of the week.

It says He’ll make straight my path
and overcome my foolish mental math.

See, if we’re to believe Romans 8:39,
that nothing can separate us from God’s love,
I need to hold onto that promise
even though it seems there’s no help from above.

Because my mind lies to me.

And I hate that every day.

But with God’s Word on my side,

I’ll be able to say,

I’m forgiven and loved, no matter how I feel.
I can trust Him with all, even when it seems unreal.
He’ll catch me when I fall, and hear my appeal.
It’s the only truth I know will hold me; it’s set in steel.