Music is powerful.
Martin Luther is often quoted as saying: “He who sings, pray twice.” (Though the actual origin of the phrase is debated.)
In remembering this phrase, my increased desire to play, write, or listen to music lately suddenly makes sense. Words just aren’t enough for all the prayers my heart is praying …
… for beautiful Sam waiting to be able to come home
… for high school students getting ready to leave home and journey out “into the world”, that their faith would stick with them
… for Emma trusting God to provide a home for his family
… for a friend faced with questions including how much longer God may have her call this earth “home”
… for Kevin leaving home for 9 months to fight so we have the right to keep ours.
And in all of this, music brings comfort and a sense of understanding. Even when there aren’t words to describe a feeling, as music has played around me lately (or come from within me) suddenly I find myself saying: THAT’S IT! THAT’S HOW I FEEL! Like in these lyrics from Christy Nockels:
“Asking where You are, Lord. Wondering where You’ve been. Is like standing in a hurricane, trying to find the wind.”
I see God all around me. It is obvious that he truly is an ever-present God right in the middle of the situations. He’s EVERYWHERE, and yet, I find myself looking around wondering where He is.
This paradox isn’t just found in new songs. Take David’s Song #77 for example written probably about 3,000 years ago… for nine verses he cries out saying things like:
“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? … Has God forgotten to be merciful?” (Psalm 77:8-9)
And yet, in the same song, he recognizes God’s presence:
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD… I will meditate on your works and consider all your might deeds. … What God is so great as our God?” (Psalm 77:10-11)
Or what about song #79:
“How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?” (Psalm 79:5)
Which also has this beautiful reminder:
“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” (Psalm 79: 13)
I sing along with David’s Song #42 in which he wonders:
“Why are you so downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
And I sing/pray this too because I know God IS present… I sense Him… and I hear Him singing too:
“By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me–
a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:8)