Thankfulness: Music in Our Hearts

music-of-heartAs we read the following verses, let’s note how thanksgiving and songs are related:

Psalm 28:7 (NIV84) The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 30:11–12 (NIV84) You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Ephesians 5:19–20 (NIV84)  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and singing are related… but for those of us who do not enjoy the sound of our own voice, or perhaps making music is “not our thing”, I suggest that singing isn’t so much about sound.  In the above passage from Ephesians it says “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord”.  In your heart.

Our hearts sing.

And when our hearts are singing, we are filled with joy, peace and love – we are free!  I suspect this song is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in us!

Over the years I have noticed that my most fruitful and enjoyable times with the Lord are when my heart sings.  It usual takes some time to get there.  A certain morning routine may work for months, and other times I have to change it up daily.  I may go for a walk and meditate on a passage while I praise God for what I see.  I might sing worship songs.  This past January I would read and outline a short passage and then pray through a Psalm each day.  It is a battle to carve out this time, but it shapes my days.  I absolutely need it!

For a long time I wondered how I knew if I was “done” with my time with the Lord.  How long is a “long enough” devotional time?  One way I know I am done is that my heart is overflowing with worship and gratitude towards God – when my heart cheers: “That is my good, powerful, all-knowing, unconditionally loving, perfectly just God!  I love Him and He loves me!”

I am ready to move on when my heart is singing a song of thanksgiving.

This is one of my heart songs that I wrote in my journal at the end of my time with God one day:

Thank you God for caring for me. Thank you that today is not all up to me. Thank you that you are not counting on me to figure things out on my own! 

My Good God is on the scene He’ll take care of everything He’s always looking out for me…

He is amazing…  He is amazing

 

Waking up, worries hit before I open my eyes. How will I make it through the day? Then I’m reminded, it’s not all up to me….God’s got it all figured out.

My Good God is on the scene He’ll take care of everything He’s always looking out for me…

He is amazing…  He is amazing

When I fear what the next call may bring You remind me you will be with me Holding my hand through it all….

My Good God is on the scene You’ll take care of everything You are always looking out for me…

You are amazing…  You are amazing

That song came easily, but it is not always that way.  I started writing this post in January.  It is now November and I wanted you to know that I’ve been struggling lately to find my “song.”  I am praying to “feel it”… and on the days that I don’t?  I am choosing to praise Him.  Our choice doesn’t depend on how we feel.  Our will trumps our emotions.  Sometimes, like David in the Psalms, we tell our soul to praise God, our heart to sing!

I know God is trustworthy, faithful, and good, so I choose to thank Him.

Today’s song is not so bubbly as the one in January, but before the throne of God, I trust it is just as cherished.

Thank you, God that you never change. Thank you for loving me when I am feeling lost. I dreamt, Lord that I would grow strong and would never lose hold of you… but now I know that all my strength is prone to fail.  I thank you for never letting go of me.  You are holding me fast and you will not let me go.

Thank you for a love that is unfailing.

Thank you for a love that is more real than sunshine… More reliable than rain. Stronger than the wind that blows… Stronger than my pain.

Thank you for holding me fast.  Holding me true.  Holding me long. Free from condemnation and shame. 

 

What is the song of your heart today?

 

–Jeri Howe

#livethankful2014