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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Monday, April 23, 2012

The other day I was feeling overwhelmed as I found myself in another transition in my life. Realizing that I really did not have the time to entertain overwhelming thoughts, I began to sing a song to myself. As I turned my focus to this simple song and the Lord, peace began to settle over me and calm my heart. I was amazed at how quick peace came. The situation hadn’t changed in anyway; my heart was just in a better place than it was 5 minutes prior to singing.
     As I later reflected on that day and how quickly singing/humming made a difference, I was reminded of how I sang to my children when they were little. For centuries, mothers have sung to their babies to calm them and put them to bed. It is not the quality of the voice that matters. There is just something about a simple melody that can calm and comfort.
     Psalms 63:7 says, “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” David, in the book of Psalms, knew the power of singing to the Lord. He was a man that knew where to find comfort and strength for his soul. David sat for hours in the field and practice his singing before the crowd of sheep he tended to. Singing was a protection for his heart as well as a safe way to pour out his emotions. It is profound and yet amazing to me how this simple redheaded boy grew to be a mighty man of God with  a song and simply being in God’s presence. It was in deep worship, that David became the man God intended for him to become.
     When my late husband was battling cancer, I would sing as I walked thru the halls of MD Anderson. With his life threatened, I knew I had to give all I had to help him live. The days there were very long and very unpredictable. The news was often times not what I wanted to hear. Singing kept me steady and kept me peaceful while my world shook.  I discovered as I was walking thru the “valley of the shadow of death, “ that singing was a powerful weapon when we use it. With my dreams threatened and my world shaking, I had to hang on to something. I sang songs with words like, “When everything falls apart, your arms hold me together.” I sang songs like, “You make everything glorious” to remind myself that no matter what, God would make it glorious again. I constantly had to remind myself of the truth as I navigated thru the uncharted, dangerous waters in my life.
     I remember one day we arrived at the MD Anderson Emergency Room and all 40+ beds were occupied. Each person that occupied a room was in a pretty critical state. Joe was put in the hallway. He was in a great deal of pain and struggling with the pressure of the tumors. Doctors and nurses quickly moved from room to room trying to help their patients. There was so much commotion that I thought for a minute I was at Grand Central Station. Family members were in distress, patients were in pain, doctors and nurses were over worked and there wasn’t much relief in sight. Joe’s pain increased and although he was tough as a boot, I could see he was struggling a lot. Desperate to help the man I loved, I began to sing.  I don’t sing well, but I knew singing would help bring the presence of God into the situation. I began to sing a song to comfort myself and Joe.
     The words were, “I believe always, always, my Savior never fails. Even when all hope is gone, God still remains,he’s still the same. He will be with you always, always.” I sang this song softly over and over like a broken record  but loud enough that my husband could hear. As I sang, a settling unbelievable calm came over him and he began to rest. There is power in worship and I believe the most beautiful sound to God is hearing his kids sing in the midsts of a storm. When we worship God in our pain it is called lamentation.
     Lamentation is a sweet sound to God. It is praising God anyway. Lamentation is an honest expression of our pain and grief and emotions. It is praising God even in the uncertainty and pain of life. Lamenting says, circumstances don’t matter, I am praising God anyway. It is an expression of our heartache and yet singing irregardless of our circumstances. Habakkuh 3:17 says, “ Though the fig does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, YET I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Do you worship God in the YET? Do you sing anyway when times are difficult or overwhelming? There is power in singing in the dark times as it brings comfort, clarity of mind and peace for our troubled hearts. The rest of that passage tells the benefits of singing in the YETS of life. Habakkuk 3:19 says, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Worship helps us go beyond ourselves. It gives us strength. It empowers us. It gives us an upgrade, like moving from economy seating to first class.
     I challenge you to get a song. The quality of your singing doesn’t matter. Scripture says in Psalm 98:4, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise and sing praises to his name.” Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you sound like. That’s good news for someone like me that doesn’t sing well! What matters is that you just do it. Start with something simple like, “Jesus loves me this I know.” That simple song has wrapped my heart in a blanket of peace many a time. I may not know how to solve the problem, but I know that I am loved. I know God is stronger than whatever I face and I know whatever I am facing, I am not facing it alone. There is power in singing. What I find, is singing changes my countenance. It makes me look good! It is refreshing.
     I challenge you to get a song. Sing it. Hum it. It will change your heart, it will change your thinking. Singing magnifies God instead of our situation. Whatever your circumstances, singing is the answer. If things are good, by all means, sing to God and praise him. If things are not good, it is even a better reason to sing to pour out your pain and emotions to the one person that truly understands and can help. Besides, it may not change your circumstances, but it will change you. Will you join me in singing? The hills could come alive with the sound of our music. God is worthy of our worship all the time and as they hymn say, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.” And so can you.

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