November 24, 2012

A song in my heart

If I ever envy anyone, it is usually because they can sing and I cannot. When a child, I used to laugh and say I could not carry a tune in a tin can with a lid on it. I only sing when there are at least a dozen others singing more loudly, or when I am alone and cannot hurt the ears of someone else.

However, there is a wee spot in Scotland in an ancient place of worship near a graveyard and a famous golf course. You have to pay to get inside, but within the walls there is a small oval room with a high inverted cone ceiling, all made of stone. In that room, my voice sounds like that of an angel. 

I’m not sure why this perfect pitch occurs, but when we first heard it (sight-seeing with my sister), we almost wept. For years, we could not share with others anything about this precious moment. I imagine that when I sing, God hears this rarified version from that small room — and He smiles.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

Some mornings I wake with a spiritual song in my heart. That can be explained; it is not me but the Spirit of God who gives the song. Another verse, parallel to this one in Colossians, affirms that He is the source of such delightful and joyous music.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18–20)

Singing is a common way to praise God. It may have happened sooner than Moses, but he sang songs of praise and his words are repeated the Psalms (songs of praise) and Isaiah. Moses sang,

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)

Having a song in my heart is a big advantage when it comes to telling others about Jesus. Perhaps this is an important reason that He puts it there…

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:3)

Singing is also a prayer and assurance from God that He is with me and giving me His strength.

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)

Today is a busy day. I’m thankful to begin it with musical assurance of God’s power and presence. I cannot sing very well, but as with everything else, the Lord does it for me.

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14)

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