Just recently I was sharing with my church family the many times the Lord has given me a song for a season — songs playing in the theater of my mind in different seasons. Through the years, here in this blog, I’ve shared clips of songs or meaningful words that have carried me through difficult days or trials. Interestingly (and thankfully!), the Lord has often used music to direct or focus my thoughts. When my mind would tend to wander in caves of worry or despair, songs have been my pillar of fire in darkness; songs have been my anchor in tumultuous seas; songs have borne the truth when the enemy has rushed in with floods of lies; songs have pointed to certain reality when shadows of doubt have been cast over my path.
The gift of music! What blessing the Lord has worked in music – many songs – psalms, hymns and spiritual songs! Five years ago, in the midst of the greatest sorrow I’ve ever known, the Lord used a few songs to carry me through each day and night during that season. In time to come I would experience and see very clearly the truth I’d been singing for months: “Anything that’s shattered, when laid before the Lord, will not be unredeemed… ” (Unredeemed – Selah). I will be eternally grateful to What God did for me in that season and the things He’s continuing to work in me from the lessons those days brought me. I needed to be broken—I needed all the lessons the Lord worked in me through that time.
On the heels of that season came another pressing trial when our son Timothy was so very sick. God again used song to carry us: Great is Thy Faithfulness would ring in our ears over and over. The miracle God provided proved this true: How great! O, how great is the faithfulness of God! Morning by morning new mercies we did see! Later in that same year and into the next, I would face another trial… blindsided, really, and yet God had a great purpose in all that, too. On so many levels I needed what that trial taught me—teaches me still! Having sunk to another lowest of lows, another song would carry me through: (Springtime’s Coming – Hopper). For a few months, my husband set this song to play to wake me every morning. Occasionally, at random points in those days, he would remind me with a smile: Springtime’s coming, and the words and melody would again ring in my ears. On an early April morning, I would receive and open a package containing the biggest surprise we’ve ever received. Truly, right before my eyes, “God had the biggest surprise” just as the song I’d been singing proclaimed. It was more than a dream.
Fast-forward a few years: I shouldn’t have been surprised at how another song would become dear and instructive to me — actually a very unlikely song has been invaluable to me. Sort of like the Happy! song the Lord used to encourage me during my husband’s open heart surgery and recovery… that one occasionally had me dancing and clapping along like a room without a roof! Well, this time, the song that is encouraging me was playing at Christmastime (Count your Blessings – Ray Conniff singers) and I’ve needed the little nuggets of gold contained in the song. I’ve needed to be reminded to fall asleep counting blessings instead of sheep.
In a season of change, I’ve been drawn into worry and fretting and, occasionally at the end of the day, into counting sheep instead of blessings when sleep’s been elusive — I smile when the thoughts prompted by that song ring through: “…we’ll kneel and pray to be shown the way; and when we’re worried and we can’t sleep, count our blessings instead of sheep and we’ll fall asleep counting our blessings!”
Maybe the Lord uses song or music in your life to carry you, to instruct or encourage you as He has in mine. I sure hope so.