When I was younger, I loved the Disney movie the Swiss Family Robinson. Other than the giant snake and the fact that they were attacked by pirates, it seemed quite an idyllic life to me.
Side note: the book makes that life seem not so idyllic as the movie.
I don’t know if was that movie or something else that brought up the conversation of what we would want to have with us on a deserted island but I readily recall that childhood conversation with my dad.
The question was what book would we want on a deserted island and I knew the right answer would have to be my Bible but it made me sad to leave all my Little House on the Prairie books behind, not to mention all my Mandie books and Anne of Green Gables series. I didn’t know if I could be content or helped all that much reading books like Numbers in the Bible while stuck on a deserted island – where I also could not eat fish since I am allergic to fish.
“If I could have one book on an island, and only one book,” my dad mused, ” it would be an old hymnal”.
His answer was so shocking to me that I recall it all these years later.
“Why, Dad?” I asked him. I had to know.
“Well, there is so much of God in the hymn. I can remember a melody and be reminded of God much more than I can read about God and remember all the words.”
I was stunned by this.
This memory came flooding back to me this month as I sat in our church and listened to our pastor talk about worship.
Our pastor, Pr. Jason, was talking about worship and how powerful a song is. How, and this really blew my mind, we are not taught how to sing. We. Just. Sing. Some of us sing really amazingly, some of us (I am talking about myself here) crank the music as loud as possible as to not hear themselves singing.
When someone talks with me and tells me they are going through a hard time, my heart will break over them and I have found myself over and over again sending a song.
Not a verse, not a good meme, nope. A song.
Because songs stay with you…just like my dad told me they did all those years ago.
This is not to discount the Bible. It is straight from the outpouring of the love of God through His word that these hymns are written and why they are so dear to us. It’s just that a melody stays with you longer.
I really would love to do a study on the old hymns. There is so much new music and let me tell you right now, I love these new songs too, but there is such history and so much to learn in the old hymns that hundreds of years later still hold solid truth.
My dad has long been a lover of hymns. He is very talented in singing. The one thing I miss the most about going to church with my parents is standing next to him, having him hold the hymnal (he would move it all around in circles and up and down in the music intros to make us giggle but we couldn’t actually giggle out loud) and listening to him sing. My dad hums and sings in his day to day life and it’s good to my soul to hear him.
In the times of my life when life seems overwhelming – and let me tell you now, it’s so very often – I’ll go to God’s word, yes but I will crank the worship music. Not just the Christian music station, not that that’s bad, but I go right for the worship music and I crank it loud and I keep it on as long as my day lets me. And it never fails, those truths of God are balm on my soul and stay with me in the hard moments.
I can’t tell you the times that I have had the worship music on and I am reading in my Bible and there is THE TRUTH I am hearing in song right there in black and white in my Bible. Gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I was listening to worship music this morning and realized I had been listening to the same song for a long time. And about the time that I realized it, the video went on to have Steffany Gretzinger say “Sometimes we sing it because we are sure and sometimes we sing until we know.”
Sometimes I listen to music because I know my God is awesome, sometimes I listen to music because I need to be reminded that God is awesome.
There are times when I am so very overwhelmed with joy for my God that I cannot help but just start thanking Him out loud and and then I can’t help but sing. I am notorious for making up silly songs and I can make up a great “thank you God” song that will NEVER be heard on radio. I recently came across this song and it just is the song I am singing on repeat right now when I am overwhelmed by how great my God is. How can I not be happy singing it?
Songs aren’t just outpouring in the hard times, but songs to God can also be an outpouring of the joy He puts in us.
And here is the thing…no one taught me this. My dad and mom didn’t teach me to sing. It wasn’t some new language I learned. Nope. It’s an outpouring of my heart, from the depths of my soul.
And I am so thankful for it.
If you get a chance, please take a chance to listen to this sermon. The whole series is great but this one sermon is the one I am most concentrated on right now.
I told my dad about remembering this conversation with him. My youngest son was with me and he just laughed at us. “Why doesn’t anyone say “If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would have a big ol fishing boat all fueled up and loaded up for fishing”? Practical S4. But my dad and I have talked about this sermon and the love of hymns a few times over the past few weeks.
I wanted to bring you all in on the conversation as well.
Tell me, what is your favorite worship song or hymn?