The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
I stood in the street, in public, and I cried. Couldn’t help myself. Why? Because we were singing Abide With Me. It’s a hymn with an emotive tune. It was sung, as a solo, by Emile Sande at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. It always makes me cry, because it speaks of how when things seem to be running down, one thing matters – knowing that God is with me. God, will you abide (live) with me?
This is the power of the right song at the right time – it can take us from how we are feeling and move our thoughts and feelings somewhere else. The psalms do this over and over again – remember, they are a collection of songs.
Psalm 57 does this supremely. David is in trouble again:
4 I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts – men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
He is fearing for his life. He is on the run. He feels surrounded. Things are tough. But, and it’s a big but, what does he choose to do? He chooses to sing.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. 8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
I will sing. I will play music. Come on soul – awake! Come on heart – be steadfast in God. This is what singing can do – singing the praises of God. It has the power of lifting our hearts and minds from our gloom, pain & fears – and pointing us to Him. It strengthens our hearts.
A friend gave me a CD of praise songs recently. Told me to sing my heart out in the car, let the tears flow, and find strength in God. I did just that. It works.
This is why the second-longest book in the bible is a collection of songs [can you work out which is the longest book?]. Songs, towards God, are powerful things. Sing them. Praise Him. Let your heart and soul be awakened and strengthened.
May God help you to sing today. Love Matt