The Theology of “If I Could” – Focus Scripture: Psalm 103:13-14 (NLT)
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
Regina Belle probably could identify with this scripture. A New Jersey native and preacher’s kid, Belle cut her teeth on jazz and R & B early in her career and gravitated – perhaps inevitably—toward gospel over the next 20 years. On her official website, she said that when she first started performing she was in a place where she could share intimate things with her audience – things that would help them get through their mountaintop experiences as well as their valleys of despair. Her songs suggested a kind of unity across the generations, giving guidance and comfort to others who listened to it.
In the lyrics of “If I Could,” Belle raises questions about our powerlessness in this life. Her words speak of the helplessness we feel when pain and suffering touch us and those we love. Pay attention and you will find that there are theological messages embedded in the poetry of Regina Belle’s music. We may not be able to intervene in the lives of our children and loved ones, but God can.
Today’s scripture reminds us that the Lord is like a father to his children. He is tender and compassionate, for he knows we are weak. God’s love and mercy will embrace us even though we are only dust. When we relinquish our cares to God, our “If I could” turns into the reality that “God Can.” That’s when our fear subsides.
Father God, so many times in this life, we wonder what would happen if we could step in and change things in the lives of those we love. But then we realize that when “If I could” turns into “God can,” nothing is impossible. Amen.