What Song Are You Singing?

by | Nov 22, 2020 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

I love singing. I don’t do it professionally and am not exceptionally gifted, but I love to do it all the same. My children know from experience I can make a song up on the spot. I sing my instructions to them or sometimes sing Broadway songs out of nowhere. And nothing can make me cry as quickly as a praise or worship song that resonates deeply with me.

Singing, whether a song in your heart or a song from your lips, can be an expression or extension of your faith. Churches all around the world have singing or music of some kind. 

However, there are times in my life when the singing stopped. 

Life became tough as I faced unexpected challenges with my children. I felt deep sadness and grief when my son went through a five year battle with a blood disease. On days we receive a new diagnosis (we have received so many!), I often spend the day sleeping or crying.

But sing? For a long time I didn’t know how to do that.

And singing is such a happy thing to do. Right? And maybe I’m not always happy.

Sometimes singing praise to God when I do not feel it in my heart feels wrong. Should I then lie about it?

And sometimes I’m mad. Or confused. Or hurt. And I don’t know what to say to Him, much less sing to Him. 

Have you ever experienced this?

I don’t know about you, but I always felt so much guilt about not wanting to praise Him when I was hurting. I knew deep inside I wanted to be a good Christian who didn’t feel doubt or worry, but I did feel those things. I didn’t want to feel lost and confused, but I did feel those too. And I certainly didn’t want to feel angry with God, but I did.

Only bad Christians felt this way, right? So I didn’t sing. I didn’t praise Him. Because I didn’t want to lie. I mean, God knows my heart so He knows how I really felt, right? That I was a hypocrite. But I couldn’t tell him how I felt because you’re not supposed to be angry with God. And eventually it all became a mess and during the most difficult time in my life I felt I couldn’t approach God.

And I mistook this for His silence. I felt abandoned by Him. And this only compounded my pain.

Rest assured, you are not a bad Christian if you feel these things. God, in His perfection, has given us a tool to use when we experience this conundrum of the faith. Our feelings say one thing, but our faith says another. What do we do? How then do we reconcile feelings…with faith?

We use the Bible. Specifically, Psalms.

This book, filled with agonizing songs of pain and sorrow, set me free. And I hope it does the same for you.

Using the pattern outlined in Psalms, a door to communicating safely with God opens. Once that happens hope will stream inside and you will find yourself hearing from Him again. You will find you have a song to sing even in the dark. And it will light the way.

So, how do we do this? What is this method that we can use to pray when we we feel all the things we’re not “supposed” to feel?

Let’s start by looking at some of the questions that have come from the book of Psalms:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will I have sorrow in my soul? My God, why have you forsaken me?

Let’s look at some of the raw songs David sings:

God, I cry by day, but you do not answer. My life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing. My tears have been my food day and night.

Sound familiar? It does to me! I think I have either felt or expressed these sentiments at some time in the last decade. And more than once. 

However, also in Psalms, you will find the Psalmists always hook their compliance onto their complaint. When we do this – hook our compliance up to our complaints – we find a door of communication has opened up while we are submitting to Him at the same time. 

It is the secret sauce to life.

Remember, God has never asked us to pretend or lie about how we feel, but He does ask us to respect Him and fear Him. So, how do we do both?

Here’s how it works: Tell Him how you feel, remind Him who He is. Tell Him how you feel, remind yourself who He is.

For example, in Psalm 22:1-2, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverence are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest.”

David is making it very clear how he feels! He isn’t holding back, and David is as real and raw as it gets in this moment. 

But then David says, “YET YOU ARE HOLY.” 

YET YOU ARE HOLY, GOD. This is the secret. 

We take our feelings (which are passive) and bring them into submission to God’s divine plan (proactive), trusting Him (letting go of the results) that He will do what He said He will do (keep His promises). 

Here is another example in Psalms 63:1-5.

“Oh my God, You are my God; I shall seek you earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh years for You in a dry weary land where there is no water.”

Read: I’m tired, Lord. I’m worn, Lord. I’m dying of thirst and hunger, Lord. 

“Thus I have seen you in the sancutary, to see Your power and Your glory.”

Read: Hey, I’ve seen what You can do. I’ve seen Your power and Your glory. This is who you are. 

“Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands to Your name.”

Read: Okay, God. Your ways are better than mine, and you deserve praise. 

“My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praise with joyful lips.”

Read: I submit to You.

And the result? My soul is satisfied. 

And suddenly, we find ourselves singing again. And the songs of our heart and even our mouth can be like the Psalms. Expressions of deep, painful feelings, acknowledgments of who God is, submission to Him, and then His promises to comfort us.

The Psalms are sad, but my heart is so often sad. But the Psalms are full of hope. And my heart can be full of hope, too.

What are you singing today? It may be sad song, but God made room for that. Be comforted, Reader. God made a way, even in the wilderness.


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