Have you ever written a song? It can be an incredibly vulnerable experience. I suppose one gets better at it, more comfortable with having their innermost thoughts exposed for public scrutiny, but song writing has never been my favorite thing.
I am slowly learning about the kind and attentive nature of God. When times are really tough, (and they have been), when things don't seem to be moving in the right direction, (and the haven't), I was reminded how important it is to convince myself of who God really is. The Bible tells us that He has counted every hair on our heads. That He takes such attention to detail to clothe the lilies of the field and that He will also provide for us. It says that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
So I realized if I am not experiencing His provision at this moment, it's not an indictment on His character, it MUST be something God wants to mold and change within me. Something very deep He wants to etch upon my heart.
So I stopped my complaining spirit. I ended the worry and fear. Surprisingly, it wasn't a huge thing I had to do to change this habit. You may be wondering what I did.
I began to sing a new song to the Lord.
I began using my voice to declare His goodness. His provision. His care for me. His love and kindness. It encouraged my heart. It changed the atmosphere around me.
Honestly, I have been practicing this new habit for about a week. By myself. No one but my dog Lily can hear me. Oh, except my own spirit, and God, of course. I have not been particularly impressed with the melody line yet, and my words have been intentionally simple and descriptive, far from eloquent. But what a difference a few days of singing a new song can make!
Not only has my atmosphere shifted, but financially things are starting to shift as well. Yesterday I had two lovely surprises from unexpected sources. One was as simple as a friend buying one of my books, but padding my account so I could get a Starbucks. How sweet and kind is God to care for me in the smallest detail?
At Bethel Church, every time the offering is taken, we hold our money in the air and make some extravagant declarations. They put the words on the big screens and we recite together, declarations of "jobs and better jobs... unexpected blessings... checks in the mail..." I must admit that at first I felt like a phony reciting these profoundly wild declarations. In my head I would be asking, "do I even believe these words? Is God really this crazy-good?" But then I thought, well, it couldn't hurt and week after week, I have felt my own hope rising and my own ideas about my Father changing.
Today I want to encourage you to try it. It doesn't matter how it sounds to your ears, God loves the sound of your song. No one else can sing it but you. Could He be waiting to hear your song to release what He has been storing up for you? I will close today's blog with this amazing passage of scripture out of the Psalms.
"O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence."
Psalms 103:1-5 (Message)
Sing these words with your own melody. Release God's presence into your situation. Release your own heart and feel hope rise within you. Things will begin to shift. I promise.