"See, God has come to save me; I will trust in Him and not be afraid: for the Lord God is my strength and my SONG, He has given me victory" (Isaiah 12:2) NLT
The heat has once again silenced all birdsong. There is an almost imperceptible hiss that radiates off the hot soil, thirsting and dry. It presses down on my brow, pushes at the edge of patience, and my shoulders slope downwards under the weight of it. Then I hear a voice whisper: "...the trees of the forest will sing for joy..." Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" starts as a hum and soon the life of the music begins to flow through my veins like a cool tonic. I have always loved to sing. We grew up with music in our home, and my mom sang often and beautifully. I would marvel at the way she could pick up a harmony to just about any melody, something I have not yet mastered... Sunday mornings would dawn with the sound of choir music floating down the passage - praises from all nations into our hearts.
How I loved to be reminded that the Lord God is my "strength and my song". We do not have to "soldier on in the face of adversity". We can have joy, we can sing, we can dance. Our voices need not be stilled by the brokenness and cruelty of the world. Last week I shared one of the most beautiful hymns ever written with you. Written at a time when the composer had lost almost all that was dear and precious to Him. Except His Saviour. We sing; for see, God has come to save us, through His Son Jesus. And what I am to inherit as a result, cannot be marred. My spiritual barometer can be:
(I have told you this) so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.(John 15:11)
What was this? Jesus said this to His disciples after He told them: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love".
The world will say - you create your own destiny. Be assertive, lead the way, stand up for who you are. You deserve to be happy. Demand justice. You've earned what you really want from life, etc. That is why the way of Christ is "folly" to the world. Does it matter? Are we willing to be "fools" for His love? If Jesus is truly precious to us and our eyes are set on eternity, He will be our reward.
As my joy is made complete in Him, I will sing a new song each day. Even if the words of our love songs sound strange and out of place to those who do not truly know Him. Sing with confidence, make a joyful noise and imagine a choir of angels joining you. It can be life-changing.
Let Him lead you through a sea of challenges, on a path made by His power through our faith. And then sing with David:
"Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy
He who goes out weeping
carrying seed to sow
will return with songs of joy
carrying sheaves with him."