He is my God, and I will praise Him.” Exodus 15:2 NIV
When we last wrote about the Israelites, they had just experienced a miracle – God parted the Red Sea and they walked through on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. What they thought was a dead end (a huge body of water on one side and angry Egyptians on the other) became an unlikely path of freedom. The entire army of Pharaoh that had followed to recapture them was swept away. God had fought for them; He kept His promise that seemed too good to be true when they were discouraged from being treated harshly. Their natural response was to sing.
|Sitting with Grandpa, |
the old piano in the background
I have a love for music, not as a performer, but as an emotional outlet. I learned to play the piano as a little girl, on an old upright that has been in my family for four generations. I used to make up little songs about Jesus and sing my heart out, unconcerned about who was listening with the confidence that comes with childhood. I realized I didn't have such a good voice in 5th grade when my sister and her best friend taped me singing to my favorite eight track tape while wearing headphones. They played it back, laughing, and I was surprised to hear how bad I sounded. But I still sing my heart out, in church and in my car, just not when people are listening.
Music was a lifeline to me when I was going through the worst pain of my divorce. I downloaded worship songs to my I-phone and lay in bed at night with my headphones on, trying to soothe my heart and get some rest when sleep was wouldn’t come. I played the same songs over and over: songs that reminded me of God’s love and promises to rescue. Most were contemplative songs, songs of brokenness, and songs of lament that expressed my grief and helped me to hold on to the God who promised to bring me through.
I imagine the Israelites had familiar songs they sang while working as slaves in Egypt, making bricks. They had many years of harsh labor which only got worse after Moses arrived, and each time things looked bleak they played the same tapes over and over. When they were backed up to the Red Sea they didn't expect God to rescue them. They told Moses “Didn't we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’?” But their tune changed dramatically when God did the unexpected and rescued them. God not only gave them something to sing about, He became their song.
I can relate. Like the Israelites, what I thought was a dead end has become an unlikely path of freedom for me. I no longer feel deserted and abandoned. God has been so good to me. He’s given me a new place to call home that I love, deepened my relationship with family and friends, and made the money I have stretch to meet all my needs. Recently, I realized my I-phone playlist no longer fits. I have a new song in my heart that is light and upbeat. It’s time to go back to I-tunes and download some new songs.
|Beautifully restored, the old piano sits in my new living room|
Do you have a new song to sing? Has God brought you through something hard that you thought was a dead end? Don’t forget to stop and savor the victory, even if it’s a small one. Sing a new song, even if it doesn't sound good to others. Change up your playlist, and share it with your Sistahs.