Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sing a new song...

A little inspirational quote I saw somewhere this week - sorry, I cannot remember the source, so I will just quote it as I remember it: "No matter what yesterday was like, a bird always starts the new day with a new song."  I guess I had never really stopped to consider that one, but it is so true! The birds don't stop singing one day just because yesterday was full of storms.  They don't stop singing just because they don't "feel like it".  Birds sing!  It is part of being a bird and I think it also because they are praising the one who continuously provides for their needs and well-being!  Maybe we'd do well to take a lesson from the birds - being a little less caught up in the effects of the storms and our feelings, and just praising him because it is part of who we are and because he never leaves us to make it on our own!

Sing to Him a new song; play each the best way you can, and don’t be afraid to be bold with your joyful feelings.  For the word of the Eternal is perfect and true;  His actions are always faithful and right.  (Psalm 33:3-4 VOICE)

There have been more than a few days I have awakened just not feeling like I wanted to lift my head from the pillow, much less deal with whatever storminess was about to break upon my life.  I know we all have those days and we probably all deal with them a little differently depending upon a variety of factors.  When storms have been day-after-day, without any let up to speak of, we may not want to deal with another one - this is only natural.  When the best we can do doesn't seem to be enough to really solve the problem we are facing and we just don't want to face the challenge any longer - this is only natural.  If we stop to consider God's instructions to us, we might just come to the conclusion God has something "super-natural" in mind for us as we praise him and allow a new song to emerge from the ashes of our lives.  Maybe he has to have those ashes "stirred up" a little in order for us to see him in the midst of those ashes!

The song doesn't need to be lovely, it just needs to be sung!  I have these brownish-black birds which invade my yard during the daytime hours.  I think they are grackles.  If you have ever had a small flock of those things in your yard, you know how awful the "song" they sing can be!  It is kind of this high-pitched whistle which is kind of annoying after a while.  It isn't the beautiful song of the finch, or even the sweet sounds of the hummingbird.  It is this annoying squeal that just sets your nerves on edge after a while.  They seldom come one at a time - but travel in bunches.  In winter in Arizona, we plant winter grass (rye), and it is like we have laid out a Thanksgiving feast for them!  They flock in, picking up their song, and luxuriating in the sun while they pluck the seeds from the shortly cropped summer grass remnants.  They probably serve a purpose in life, like spreading seed hither and yon, but they can be a little annoying.

I wonder how many times the song we sing may be a little "annoying" to others, but still a lovely melody in the ears of the one who created us?  I think we have a tendency to judge our "song" by how it makes US feel.  God never tells us to sing our songs of praise so that WE will feel better.  In fact, he clearly reminds us that praising him in those new songs our heart brings forth is entirely for HIM!  Even in the "wailing song", he receives your "melody".  Yet, in the turning of our eyes toward him, lifting whatever song we have in our hearts, we begin to sense something happening - there is some kind of liberating release which comes in just lifting our voices to him.  The "sweetness" of the melody is not always there - but the response of his heart is always consistent in hearing our heart's song!

We might just do well to remember the birds - their song is new every morning - something God has encouraged us to embrace, as well.  The Book of Lamentations isn't usually considered the "praise and worship" book of the Old Testament, yet we find these words:

How enduring is God’s loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.  Here they are, every morning, new!  Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.  Have courage, for the Eternal is all that I will need.  My soul boasts, “Hope in God; just wait.” (Lamentations 3:23-24 VOICE)

In essence, our writer was reminding us that God's love and his mercies are new every morning.  Now, that might just be the best reason of all to sing a new song each day!  We cannot outlive, outgrow, or outdo God's love or his mercies.  We cannot exhaust them, either. What we can do is fail to acknowledge they are consistent and trustworthy. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be caught without a song in my heart!  Just singin!