I am a very different person today than I was 24 years ago when I composed my first prayer/song. But my need for God is exactly the same.
“In my darkest hour you wrap your arms around me, in my frustration and despair you show me peace.” Age 14
“Father, in my darkest hour, you came and breathed new life . . . I can’t walk away, you’re still holding on to me. In spite of all the wounds, I know it’s true.” Age 37
An unexpected conversation this week caused an enormous wave of grief to wash over me. I haven’t experienced that depth of emotion in a very long time. A dear friend who just happened to text, “how are you?” advised me to open my Bible and meditate on Isaiah 40. In just a few moments a song was written and I was restored. Exhausted, but restored.
This week as I stared at some new lyrics and reflected on some old I thought to myself, “Will the theme of these songs ever change?”
Light in the darkness.
Strength in weakness.
The assurance of hope in sorrow.
The longing for more . . . life.
This is the song of broken humanity. This is also the song of the redeemed.
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. By faith we are raised to newness of life in Christ—empowered by His Spirit, gifted with grace. There is so much more of life and light available to us than we realize! But we are still living in a broken world among broken people. We sing to connect with a living God who breathes life into dry bones. We sing to remind ourselves that we are already—but not yet—new.
Will the theme of my song ever change? No. My song won’t change until Jesus finally returns and makes all things new.
Sing your song to the Lord. Sing it over and over. Declare his goodness, his power, his mercy, and his love. Sing comfort, sing peace. Repeat your sung prayers as often as you need because they are the songs of Zion, the songs that will fill you and maybe even countless others with hope as you journey through wilderness, fire, flood, perplexity, uncertainty, suffering, and grief.
Spiritual maturity will not heal every ache.
We never outgrow our need for a Savior.
“When my heart was heavy from the grief
That you allowed
I almost walked away
But you kept calling out my name
Whispering, “my child, keep the faith.”
Peace to you.