No One

No one else can bring my praise but me
No one else can give my offering
You have put a love song
Deep inside of me
No one else can bring my praise but me

It's the sweetest chorus. Add to it the innocence of a child's voice singing praise to God. It already touched my heart when I heard it on our rehearsal CD for the Living Cross but it brought an even bigger impact when my own child was listening to these words from the back seat.

"What does praise mean?" his curious little mind asked.

We talked about praise. Our offering to God. Our thanks to Him. Our love for Him. Our worship of who He is. The question caused me to ask myself what these words mean to me. Not just the answer I should give a curious 5 year old, but the answer my soul gives to God my Father.

He asked to hear "his song" this morning on our ride to school. I asked if he wanted to sing and he responded, "Mom, can I just listen?"

I find that I can't just listen to this song any longer. Even as I try to bellow out notes, tears well in my eyes at the very thought of the message.

No one else - not one single person, Lord - can bring my praise. That is the praise I seek to give you for who You are. It is the praise that comes from a life once broken, a heart once aching, a soul formerly shattered that You touched, You healed, You mended. It's the praise only You deserve, Most Holy God. It's the praise I bring you, even sweeter now, because I've experienced despair and because I've watched You work. I praise You.

No one can give the offering I present before you, God, my God. I've built the altar from the rubble of my life. The ashes you've transformed. I lay it all down. Out of pain I come. Out of joy I come. Out of healing I come. Out of sacrifice I come. Out of abundance I come. Out of all that I am not I come. I bring it all to you and give you all of me. Take my life, Lord. Use me. Consecrate me to Yourself. I bring this offering knowing the sacrifice You gave for me. The only give I have to give is me.

You have put a love song deep inside me. When I was unlovable. When I was unlovely. At the depth of the pit I had fallen into, You saw past my depravity. You replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh. You gave me life, Your life. You gave me hope, Your hope. You gave me joy deep down in the marrow of my being. Out of my utter desperation, You redeemed me and gave me Your love. I sing from the depths of my soul because of the song You have placed in me.

No one, Lord. No one takes your place. No one deserves Your praise.


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