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TRUSTING THE ANGELS (2004)
Trusting The Angels - Click to view!When faith is defined as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), the person of faith must learn the lesson of trust. Trusting the unseen (in a world where seeing is believing) is the ultimate fallacy of man's kingdom. Yet in the heavenly kingdom, one cannot walk with God without trusting Him. Jason Upton is a man who has come to terms with this elementary lesson. His newest offering, Trusting the Angels, delivers a much-needed message to the body of Christ. For while trusting Him with our entire being is rudimentary in nature, we hardly know what it means to completely surrender control and allow Him to take charge of our lives.

Because children can understand trust more than anyone else, Upton explores their world in song form. He finds inspiration from his own two children to create songs like "Emma (Not Alone)" and "When It Thunders." After a soothing intro of digitally-delayed guitar, recorder, and violin, "Emma" begins with the words, "Don't be afraid, baby, don't you cry / Daddy's here, it will be alright / You're not alone." A song of comfort to a newborn daughter turns into God Himself singing over his scared children: "Don't be afraid of your blind belief / Because the more you fly, the more you'll see / You're not alone / ...Look beyond what you can see / Close your eyes and just believe." The peaceful beginning gives way to an up-beat tempo, where keyboards and drums add to the already refreshing sound. Upton's voice even changes from soft crooning to a passionate cry, reflecting the Father's own passion for us to understand that we are never alone, even when we can't conceptualize our world. "When It Thunders" shows Upton singing to his son Samuel "So I need for you to know, wherever I go / God is in control, and you are in His arms." Even when those we love leave, we can hold onto a God who will never leave; in every place of suffering we can reach out and find a God worth worshiping ("Face of Time (Song of the Pearl)"). He calls constantly, wanting us to come to Him in complete trust and receive all He has to pour upon us ("Where Fools Turn to Gold").

Upton admits the hardship of trusting in the unseen. And yet God can be "seen" in our world if we allow Him to work within it. The signs simply differ from what we're trained to observe with our natural sight. In "Cloud by Day," he admits, "It may seem strange, but I know it's right / I'll keep moving on." Faith in Jesus Christ is foolishness to many non-believers, but when we as believers take time to listen, we know that this is the path of life. "One of These Days," a song of jubilation in both sound and lyrics, says, "Some say that I'm only dreaming / And that this can't be true / But my faith has only been increasing / Since the day that I met you." The ultimate contrast between faith and sight appears in the title track. It includes the same passion as "Emma"; not only are we not alone, but also we have no reason to be afraid while trusting Him. Upton compares himself to a penniless bird with tiny wings, and while that status would cause many to fear, he refuses to be anything but secure in His Father's arms: "Hiding here in Your shadow / Riding under Your wings / Flying, trusting the angels / Living in Your covering / I'm not afraid." The song ends with a calm whistle and bird chirps, reminding the listener that just as the sparrows fly without a care, we can do the same when we're living in His presence.

Upton shows throughout this album that God has done all He can to win our trust. Now it is on our shoulders to fling our all upon the steady Rock. This idea culminates in the final track, "Is There Room." Upton takes the Christmas story and twists it ever so slightly. Mary is asked if there is room in her womb for the Christ, just as the innkeeper is questioned. We are individually asked the same: "Is there room in our world / For a new word today / A holy child from God's right hand / Is a holy word from God to man / But is there room / Is there room for a child." The violin reflects the sorrowful cry of Upton's vocals, and all the instruments beseech the listener on behalf of the Father. They cry, "Can you hear the sweet melody from heaven?" Can we hear God pleading for our whole hearts?

Trusting the Angels is a twist from traditional worship albums. The majority of the songs show God singing to us, not us singing to God. I believe it's because we need to be reminded once again of how much God loves us. Rather than singing a declaration of our heart, we need to hear how much He adores us, for we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). When we can fully rest in His love, we can fully give Him our trust. If you're like me and in need of this timely reminder, this will end up being a treasured favorite in your worship collection.
- Hollie Stewart
November 2004
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