Walking home from late nights at the pub as a young man, I would often render this very disgruntled salutation: ‘You’ll see!’ I had the presence of faith and belief in myself, despite a disparaging time with so-called friends. They proved the making of me. And this is the motivating emotion that Susan Boyle, too, has drawn upon over her tumultuous months.
The chords and strains of Madonna’s song, powerfully rendered by Boyle on her debut album, shakes its collective fists at a deriding world—any lacking faith.
And faith’s the deal here. Yet, faith in this place, where? Try these words:
“All by myself... I don’t need anyone at all.”
This might inspire religious horror in some—for dependence on God is surely the only way. But don’t rest there. God blesses such an independence of self-found faith; an autonomy of spirit. To a point God expects it. Sure, we’re to depend on his all-sufficient grace and place our hopes in him, but a thriving faith is more dynamic than simply ‘resting in God,’ come what may.
Faith is a situationally-placed component of the good life. There are times when we charge ahead, knowing the way—Spirit-led we are. God has placed his Holy Spirit within us so we can take control over these situations. In times of strength we’d be lax to overly i.e. too meekly, rely on God’s Spirit. Imagine King David going into battle in submissive meekness.
At other dry and hopeless times—and we all have them—God’s all-attending grace pervades perfectly if only we let it. It’s a pretty simple equation. Different faith-responses to different situations.
Some of Boyle’s own words encapsulate exactly how I used to feel; you too might resonate:
“Doubt sows disbelief. This is about turning this around. This song is a kind of beacon. A way of keeping going. My productive anger. My way of getting rid of the labels which have been unfair.”
There’s a golden lesson here in fighting back against the injustices of life targeted at ourselves. Rather than attack the person or people affronting us, or the opposite—submitting and avoiding the issues setting up more bullying or ridiculing—we develop a stiff upper lip and get on with proving them wrong—without a word.
That’s faith personified. It’s a personal level of godly strength. Appropriately exercised, it’s a faithful use of God’s strength that can only make the Heavenly Father proud.
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: Susan Boyle, “You’ll See,” (track 5) from I Dreamed a Dream – Compact Disc (Sony Music, 2009).