The story goes that when I was two years old I spent the night with my grandparents. In typical grandparent fashion, they took me out to dinner, perfectly pleased with the opportunity to show me off. I was the first. Explains a lot.
As dinner was drawing to a close I did the most natural thing for a two year old to do. This two year old, anyway. I climbed up out of my chair, pulled myself onto the table, stood tall and proud and proceeded to sing every word of the old hymn “Standing on the Promises.”
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, through eternal ages let his praises ring
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God.
My parents would later ask, mortified, why they didn’t stop me, pull me off the table and apologize to the patrons of the restaurant. ”You let her sing every verse?!” My grandparents, though, were thrilled with my spontaneous performance and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t know any other songs or this could have gone on for awhile.
Oblivious to my environment, I had a song and I wanted to sing it. No one had yet told me to stop. And no one had yet explained there are some places where our song would be silenced.
“Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord…”
Just after crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites put their trust in the Lord and celebrated what he had done; they burst out in spontaneous song, “The Lord is my strength and song and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him.”
And then the wilderness came. The weariness of travel. The fear of attack. The uncertainty of how long they had to go. Instead of lifting their voice in praise, they opened their mouth in accusation. In song, they celebrated what God had done. In speech, they lamented what he had yet to do.
A sweet friend sent me a message this week and quoted Mike Bickle from a study on Hosea, “Nobody sings in the wilderness…people complain in the wilderness.”
But what if we did?
Because the wilderness is not the environment for singing. The wilderness has sold itself as the breeding ground for fear, it’s shadows pulling us into self-preservation mode–there’s no time for singing when we’re using all our energy to play endless tracks of “what if?”
What if the Lord brought us out here to die?
What if he doesn’t provide like he says he will?
What if everyone forgets about me, gives up on me, moves on without me?
Which is all the more reason to defy our situation and take back the song we’ve given away. I’ve found that once we’ve given up our voice, it takes a little time to get it back in tune. To remember that we like the sound of it, to remember that no one is coming along to shush us in our seat.
And so today it might start small.
But the more we use it, the more we build it up. Songs of revelation to cling to in the face of fear. Songs of promise to declare when we’re afraid. Songs of deliverance to sing over ourselves.
Fear can’t have my voice anymore. Because the Lord is calling, “Remember who you are. Remember the child who held court in a restaurant, unaware that the environment wasn’t ‘right’.”
Today I’m climbing up out of my chair, pulling myself up onto the table, standing tall and proud and taking back my song.
This post is part of 31 days of truth from the wilderness. Click here to see all blogs in this series.
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