Hello to all who have decided to follow along as I post for 21 days straight as part of our church fast. As you can see, each entry is numbered as a particular day, so if you are reading this and the title above doesn’t say Day 1, then you should stop now and go read from Day 1, or take a peek at Day 2 and pick a topic you are interested in. Thanks for being brave enough to join me.
Welcome, faithful reader! It’s now Day 6 of 21 days of Posts. Today’s post is about hope and could be the most difficult one I’ve written in this series.
If you went back to read Day 1 of this series, you know that I’ve been feeling quite unsettled this new year. Discombobulated is the term I used. I’m still there, and not really seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. I’m fairly certain it will pass…eventually, but for now, I’m counting myself confused and disoriented.
With that said, I hope that writing about hope will help bring this funkiness to a close soon.
It’s funny, or comforting, or amazing how God works sometimes. I started a new devotion series on Bible.com/YouVersion on Sunday, deep in the midst of my affliction. I had observed, to myself, that I had not been singing much lately, or even had good music listening sessions. I admit, many of the “new” songs on Way-FM are tiresome and remind me too much of bad pop music and I’ve not been listening to it lately. But at that moment on Sunday morning, I realized I had not had a real good listening session of really good music in weeks, aside from a short session of Christmas music while putting up the tree in December. Never mind a good sing. I hadn’t sung…really sung, in many, many days.
So there I was, starting a devotion on hope, hoping to stir myself to some degree and what is the very first day of the devotion about? Singing. The actual title was “All Creation Sings” and it spoke of the fact that almost all creatures make noise while going about their lives – birds, whales, mice, wolves, crickets – on and on the list went. Many of these sounds are soothing or pleasant to human ears. Some are mournful, others are frightening. We don’t even know why some of these animals make their sounds. The devotion points out that God could have made all of these creatures mute and they would still perform their fundamental tasks, but in his wisdom, he did not.
It pleased God that he had made all these animals so they could sing and testify to their creator. The Bible says that “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25).
It delights God when we sing to him. The praises of His people are a delight to him. Singing is good for us, as well. It can help us to have hope, to persevere. It can give us strength and motivation (Psalm 59:16).
It’s hard to feel down while singing the praises of God. As the devotion explained, singing encourages you and those around you (Colossians 3:16).
Singing is also warfare, claimed the devotion. See the story of the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6), or when Paul and Silas were in prison singing and the walls shook and the doors opened (Acts 16:25-26).
“Hallelujah!” I almost shouted, sitting at the table eating breakfast. I was excited. This devotion hit home with me and hope was peeking around the corner, urging me toward it, offering me an open, helping hand. I was amazed that this devotion, which I had picked almost at random, opened with an incredibly pertinent and resonating message of what I seemed to be missing.
I confess, unfortunately, that the thought and feeling did not last. I am certain it was my fault, but I still don’t know why it was so. All I know is that I sang not a word in service that Sunday. It was certainly not the fault of the musicians, or the song choices, or any other external influence. My throat felt physically choked off and dry. My lungs refused to gather within me enough air for anything more than just respiration. It was unsettling, as I love to sing in service. I was actually relieved when the worship music ended and Pastor began to speak. That’s just not me…
But I continue to reach for hope. I almost changed the topic for today’s post, but knew if I did, I would not move in the right direction mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. So I stuck with it, my post about hope, that thing I grasp for as I continue in this discombobulated state. I pray that none of you fall into this crevasse of confusion and disquiet and that your hope is strong, centered on Christ, and lifting you up every day.
Well…there’s the sixth of these 21 posts. Thank you for reading to the end, patient reader.
Come back tomorrow for a post about something we all experience from time to time.