Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Gift of Song

I have my alarm set to a contemporary Christian station.  A few weeks ago, God woke me with these words from Colton Dixon's song "You Are"

If I had no voice,
If I had no tongue,
I would dance for you like the rising sun.
And when that day comes and I see your face.
I will shout your endless glorious praise.

I've been a part of a church choir for many years.  As I sing, its my shout to God for his amazing grace, provision and mercy on my life.  Its as much of a ministry and a blessing to my heart to stand and sing as I hope it is to those who hear it.

In July of 2011, I had a very minor ear surgery.  The procedure, simple, performed in office, was the greatest thing in the world for the dizziness and constant pain I had been facing.  I never expected something so simple to literally change my life.  As soon as the procedure was finished, I could tell sounds I heard all my life were very different. The doctor assured me it would level out in the coming few days.

A lot of it did.  One area did not, however.  After singing for many years, all of a sudden I could no longer hear my voice in a group when I sang.  I could not hear the notes I should be singing.  Not knowing if I was singing solo off tune in the midst of a group performance made me anxious, and for a while I gave it up.  It left a hole deeper than I realized.

If I had no voice,
If I had no tongue,
I would dance for you like the rising sun.
And when that day comes and I see your face.
I will shout your endless glorious praise.

Those words pounded deeply into my soul.  Even without my voice, I can still praise my Savior.

Thankfully, after almost a year and a half, I've "trained" my ear to hear some of the things I need to be able to sing again.  Its challenging, and there are lots of days I still sing by remembering what its supposed to sound like.

Even the most simple things bring important lessons.

First of all we are never to take the gifts God gives us for granted.  Use the talents he gives you!  As he told Jeremiah when he called him to be a great speaker, he equipped us for the task he gives us, no matter how terrified and inadequate we feel we are. 

I also learned if you don't hear what you need to hear...listen harder.  We don't always get the answers we need as a shout of thunder.  Sometimes we have to diligently listen for the whisper.

Often it takes more work than we realize to accomplish what he calls us to that case, train harder for the task. 

Finally, remember when times are hard, lean on what you've stored away in your heart.  Those words given to us in the Bible are made for times when you need extra encouragement.  Store scripture away inside your heart so when you find yourself struggling, you'll have just the right verse to carry you through.

Our family is preparing to sing together for the first time next week.  I have looked forward to the day for many years when I could raise my voice in worship with my husband, daughter and son. I am so thankful for that second chance.

I stand in awe of a God who hears and sees everything.  I'll never again take that for granted.

  • Colton Dixon

    You Are

    Colton Dixon

    from the album You Are - Single
    When I can't find the words
    To say how much it hurts
    You are the healing in my heart
    When all that I can see are broken memories
    You are the light that's in the dark

    You are the song,
    You are the song I'm singing
    You are the air,
    You are the air I'm breathing
    You are the hope,
    You are the hope I needed
    You are

    And when my circumstance leaves me with empty hands
    You are the provider of my needs
    When all my dirtiness has left me helpless
    You are the rain that washes me

    Chorus (x2)

    If I had no voice,
    If I had no tongue,
    I would dance for you like the rising sun.
    And when that day comes and I see your face.
    I will shout your endless glorious praise.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nothing Compares

As I sit writing this morning, the sun is breaking through the clouds from the east in an explosion of warmth and light that makes me think of heaven.  These moments in life where we see just a tiny glimpse of what the eternal holds, they are so special.

Tears of joy, that's what's flooding my face right now.  Reflecting on the past few months and the sweet release God has brought me. 

Recently, several of our choir members prepared cardboard testimonies to use during our Christmas musical.  The stories just our group can share of God's amazing plan for each of us is yet another small glimpse of the greatness of our Lord.  My "testimony" is the final one.  It was meant to be a general summary of how nothing compares to life with Jesus.  Ironically, it accurately describes my journey as a Christian.

I was brought up in church and saved as a child.  I have no doubt the experience was real and I know with certainty I gave my heart to Jesus that night.  I've not wrestled with my salvation, but I sure have wrestled with giving complete control of my life to Christ.

In fact, I have wrestled, and wrestled.  Mrs. I Can Do It Myself has taken 39 years to figure out she's not going to win this battle alone.  I knew it wasn't alone, but my idea was to blaze a trail of where I wanted to be in life and ask Jesus to help me get there.

I had finally gotten to a place where I was miserable.  Not because of the circumstances of my life-I had everything I could ever want.  I was miserable because I was running from where I was supposed to be.  Finally, I surrendered to the call he placed on my life to let go and give Jesus complete control of my life.  Its not been easy.  I don't know what the next turn will bring, and I'm living my life one day at a time and looking each day for the direction and provision.

It has given me perfect peace.  All of a sudden all the days of going through the motions, seeking happiness and fulfillment and never finding them are over.  When I stopped running my way and ignoring the call he has been placing on my heart; when I turned around and ran into his arms and sank at his feet...nothing compares.

Jesus' gift of salvation is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive.  But Christians who live each day without having that "Daddy" relationship where you know he's holding your hand every step of the way are missing out.

I invite you to join Riverview Baptist for our Christmas Musical, Sunday, December 16 at 6 p.m. and see the greatness of God shared by our members. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

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