I remember my maternal grandmother sitting at her dining room table early in the morning with an open Bible and hymn book, her face and hair dappled with light filtered through the leaves of trees outside open windows. Although alone, she was singing aloud, expressing her devotion to God. She didn’t know I was watching.
She was the first person I knew who suffered from cancer. As her strength began to fail, my grandfather set up a hospital bed for her in their family room. In preparation for visiting her, my mother taught my sister and I a simple song. I remember standing by her bed and singing, “He careth for you.” Singing expressed faith that even in sickness, God’s presence would comfort my grandmother.
After seventy years of exile in Babylon, a brave group of families celebrated rebuilding the crumbled walls of Jerusalem “joyfully…with songs of thanksgiving.” Their leader, Nehemiah, “assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right…the second choir proceeded in the opposite direction…The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.” I like to imagine the two choirs dancing over the uneven surface constructed by fearful amateurs, faltering voices rising to a crescendo as they gained confidence that the walls weren’t going to disintegrate beneath their combined weight! Singing expressed their thanks to God and to each other that the work was finished, that they could now live in peace and safety. I wonder if they reminded each other that those two choirs were not singing alone. A prophet named Zephaniah had earlier promised, “The LORD your God is with you…he will rejoice over you with singing.” Wonder of wonders, God sings over his people!
Application: Dear friend, in the busy-ness of life, it’s easy to forget to sing. If you’re out of practice, you might start by humming along with the car radio. Weary friend, rest assured that God sings over you! Have you quieted your heart and mind long enough so you can hear?
Share the title of your favorite sing-able song.
Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories by Robert J. Morgan