I love the host-filled worship of summer concerts and the too brief half hour on Sundays. Dearer still are the intimate fire-side worship times with friends, and more precious yet are the sounds of singing and instruments that I enjoy before bed with my family.
How is it that a song can sweep me away to another time and place?
...once powerful mix of chords and lyric that could bring me to tears,
over played, too familiar... until the song is new again to my heart. My ears are open tonight. Every word pulls me nearer to You.
How did I stop hearing the lyrics and just sing the words? just play the notes?
Play an instrument.
Play a song.
Play for worship.
I no longer “play”. I’m just one more mom in the congregation trying to close my eyes for a moment to block out the distractions, yet remembering to open one eye every so often to see that all my ducklings are still in line. And somehow, I am more childlike and free than ever in my heart as I worship.
Now more than ever, I worship.
It was being surrounded by worship when I was most empty that taught me how the LORD inhabits the praise of His people. Ever since, I grip music, my hymnals and MP3 player, as tightly as my prayer journal or Bible. I know from experience that the LORD inhabits the praise of His people. Worship is as vital to my survival and sanity as prayer and Bible study. I can’t get through a day in victory without praising Him, singing and saying, "How wonderful You are!"
My life was set to music, and this evening I heard part of the sound track. In a couple hours, more than a decade swept past, and in my mind, I went around the world and home again.
Long after the teeth were brushed, the lights out, and the blankets pulled up, the songs kept playing. Note by note, line by line, the Holy Spirit continued to play the themes of my life, reminding me of how He has been with me and loved me since my childhood.
Souvenirs in music to remind me of seasons…
“Day by day and with each passing moment strength I find to meet my trials here…”
“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater…”
“In the presence of Jehovah, God Almighty, Prince of Peace…”
“My Jesus, My Savior, Lord there is none like You…”
“In Christ alone my hope is found…”
“Everyone needs compassion… let mercy fall on me…”
“Hide me now under Your wings. Cover me within Your mighty hand…”
“Lord, I’m really glad You’re here…”
“This is my heart’s cry, I want to know the One who saved me…”
Even the generations old, “tuck into bed songs” that I whisper over my own children:
“Jesus, name above all names…”
“…there’s just something about that name.”
“The chimes of time ring out the news another day is through…”
“God is watching over you…”
“All night, all day angels watching over me…”
Countless scripture songs, hymns, praise songs, and favorite new songs that only God and I know… How many nights have I put myself to sleep singing the Psalms of Ascent? …sweet precious melodies that may one day usher me into His presence.
I want to pass on a legacy of praise to my children. I want them to know the heights and depths of worship. Lord, please meet my children when they are alone. Inspire them with private worship.
Oh, Savior, You rescued my soul for eternity, and You rescue me again and again with song! Thank You for Your indescribable gift, salvation! …and thank You for the other countless indescribable gifts that I am still opening through worship!