A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see “I Can Only Imagine,” a movie about the life of Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe and composer of the renowned Christian hit song, “I Can Only Imagine.” For those of you who don’t know the song, the lyrics are a series of questions that ask what will it be like when we finally get to see Jesus face to face in all His glory?
I remember growing up listening to this song, and in some ways, it has changed my life. The story behind the song is that God took the brokenness of a young boy’s life and used it to touch the lives of millions of people around the world through the song. It’s a story of forgiveness and of how God can soften even the hardest hearts.
When I saw this movie, I was dealing with some issues with a colleague at school. I wasn’t happy with the way she was treating me, and it seemed impossible to continue on with my degree. Because of this person, I felt like I was inferior. I felt like my work was less than adequate, and I felt like everything was a competition to win the favor of our professor. I had multiple conversations with this person to try to work things out, and every time I came away thinking it was all in vain.
In a moment of exhaustion, I broke down in my professor’s office and tearfully told her everything that was going on. She reassured me of my strengths and encouraged me to keep pushing forward and to not let this person get to me. Throughout this trying time, I had talked to other friends, my family, my professor, my colleague herself, and nothing seemed to help me through this. Their kind words helped in the moment but didn’t really have a lasting effect.
“I Can Only Imagine” reminded me that I had forgotten to talk to the most important person of all.
God is so awesome. It is almost unfathomable to try and imagine what it will be like to actually talk with Him. He is so powerful and so capable of helping me with even the smallest of issues. It’s amazing how often I forget to give things over to Him when I spend so much time — with very few results — trying to fix things myself. The story of forgiveness in “I Can Only Imagine” showed me that sometimes forgiveness is not just for the other person, but also for myself.
Working with the colleague is still an issue, but once I was able to forgive her for the things she is knowingly or unknowingly doing to me, I felt so much better about my own life. This trial is still testing me despite the fact I’ve finally given it over to God, but knowing that God is walking me through this makes it so much easier than going at it alone.
“I Can Only Imagine” has been on repeat every morning as I drive to school. Starting my day with admiring the glory of God has been the encouragement I need to get through working with this colleague each day. It’s a wonderful reminder that the issues I face will someday be inconsequential when I’m finally in the presence of my Savior. But, until then, I have to keep pushing forward, knowing He’s right by my side. I can only imagine what that day will be like.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.