In our preaching through Ephesians, our pastor preached today on the importance of singing from Ephesians 5:15-21.
He spoke of how our singing is directed in two directions: to others (addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs) and to God (singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.)
Daniel and I discussed the sermon on our way home, and I was reminded of the great grace of God in giving me a husband who sing to me with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. When I’m inconsolable and he doesn’t know what to say, oftentimes, he’ll just begin to sing:
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”
I don’t always appreciate it in the moment. Sometimes I resent his focusing on God when I want him to be focusing on me. But once I stop, I thank God for a man who always sets the glory of God before my eyes–and who sings to me in (heretofore unwitting) obedience to Paul’s teaching.
Just now, I was blessed as I saw Barbara H’s post on new lyrics to “So Send I You.”
Barbara wasn’t physically singing to me, but she was as she recounted the story behind the hymn and how the hymn-writer rewrote her lyrics later in life.
The second verse of the new lyrics brought me such edification:
“So send I you-my strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, my perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My grace, My promised presence-
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.”
We must acknowledge that our call involves weakness, grief, and pain. But we are not called to suffering for suffering’s sake. This pain is not the end result. I am sent not simply to be weak, but to know God’s strength in weakness. I am sent not simply to experience grief but to know God’s joy in grief. I am sent not to have pain, but to know God’s peace in pain. Ultimately, my suffering is that I may know Christ and that I may show Christ.
In which case, my suffering is worth it.
May I know Him and show Him still better with every passing day.
And thank you, Barbara, for singing truth today.