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MY GOD SINGS!

I started the day with singing this morning! Before my feet even hit the floor we were on the phone singing Happy Birthday to our little Katie. She’s turning seven today! She’s always been such a tiny little thing; it’s hard to imagine her getting taller and older. She was soooo excited about her birthday this year! She called me every couple days the last few weeks to tell me what the countdown was to her birthday. Oh, how I miss those kids! I wish so much I could give Katie a big birthday hug and kiss.
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I was just thinking the other day about how greatly our lives are touched by singing. We begin life with lullabies, and then our childhood years are filled with hundreds of little choruses and ditties by which we learn and play. Most of us continue our love affair with music—even if we cannot sing ourselves—into our teen years and beyond. And then we mark so many of the events of our lives with music, don’t we? There’s the birthday song, of course, year after year—after year. Many of our holidays have music attached to them—“The Old Rugged Cross” at Easter, “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the Fourth of July, and literally hundreds of Christmas carols and songs! We get married to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus (also known as “Here Comes the Bride”) and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, and are buried to “Amazing Grace.” And throughout our lives, the great hymns of the faith and other Christian songs uplift us, comfort and encourage us and help us to worship our Lord.
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I love to sing. I don’t have a great voice, but it’s good enough for me! I can carry a tune, at least. I sing all the time. I credit that to my mother. She wasn’t a great singer but she sang (or whistled or hummed) around the house as she did her housework or washed dishes as I was growing up—the old-time hymns mostly. I can’t hear “We’re Marching to Zion” or “Beulah Land” without thinking of my mother. Now I do the same thing.
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My grandchildren tell me, “Grandma, you have a song for everything! We say something, and you break into song about it!” The girls have even challenged me from time to time while we’re driving in the car. “We’ll think of a word, and you have to sing a song with that word in it, Grandma.” They almost never stump me.
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The brain is an amazing thing. I often start singing a song, word-perfect, that I haven’t heard in thirty or forty years and I wonder, where did that come from? I can’t remember where I put my glasses, keys or the telephone two minutes ago! Ah—the power of music!
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I don’t know too many people who don’t like music. Even if we can’t sing, most of us like to listen to it at least. Even Robbie sings! He’s always had a love for music, and actually has a very discerning ear for harmony and good music. Every now and then he tries to sing himself. It’s so sweet. Here is this person who can’t talk, but he gets a happy look on his face and sings out “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I call him Mr. Johnny One-Note because it is only that one word, sung in one note, and held out for as long as he can until he needs to take a breath, and then he starts again—usually upping the volume as he goes! I say, “Are you singing Robbie?” and he beams and nods his head and keeps going. Sometimes it is alone; sometimes he accompanies me when I’m playing the harmonica for him; sometimes I join him and we sing a duet. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
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Music and singing are gifts from God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17) What a blessing in our lives! They are also important to God. Singing is integral in our worship of Him and we are told over and over throughout Scripture to come before Him with singing. “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:2) “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” (Psalm 98:4) “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:19) Even the earth itself sings praises unto God! Isaiah 49:13; 55:12 say, “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted…For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
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Singing is so important in our lives—in my life—and to God! That is why it was a jaw-dropping shock when Bob came to me last night with a question that I had never heard before: Can you think of a place in the Bible where it says that God sings? In my fifty-eight years I had never wondered once if God Himself sings! We know we are made in the image of God. We know many of the attributes of God—He is holy, omnipotent, omniscient, just, gracious, merciful, loving and so on. We know He must love music for He made it and desires it. But I had never wondered before if God Himself ever breaks out in song, and I could not recall a verse that said He does. Bob handed me a card with a Scripture verse on it:
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“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV)
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What a beautiful verse! I instantly fell in love with it. Yes, I know in its context it is speaking of Jerusalem, but I believe it must be true for all whom He loves. God, the Almighty God, is right here in the midst of us and will save us. He rejoices over me! (What a blessed thought when I am feeling down on myself.) When I am in distress He quiets me with His love. (The peace that passes all understanding.) And He sings for joy over me! Isn’t that amazing! God sings! He sings for joy over those He loves! The picture I get in my mind is of a loving Father tucking his child into bed—protectively guarding His child; rejoicing in that child; covering him with His love and singing a lullaby of love and joy and peace. How can we not rest in that verse, and find comfort in His faithfulness and love and just that fact that He is singing for joy because we belong to Him?
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I hope I will always be able to sing—or at least be able to make a joyful noise unto Him! It brings joy and blessing and comfort to my soul when I sing. “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.” (Psalm 71:23) It is a witness to the unsaved. Psalm 126:2 tells us, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” It is a testimony to those who follow after us. “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1) It brings worship to God. Psalm 21:13 says, “Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.” As long as the Lord gives me life, I pray He will give me breath to sing unto Him! “I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” (Psalm 104:33)
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Today I am praising God for music and the ability to sing! And I am praising Him for helping me to realize for the first time that He Himself sings as well—and He’s singing over me!