Ken’s Thursday Blog
God Sings Over You
Just when you thought nothing would surprise you anymore, you discover that communal singing is one of those challenged privileges during this pandemic. Germany has reopened churches for worship but asked that congregational singing not be allowed. True, you can still sing in the shower, in your home’s privacy, or while taking a walk by yourself. But we have been told that singing aloud in a church service is a possible hazard these days, or a way in which COVID-19 may be easily spread.
We are definitely dealing with some dark times, I admit, but honestly, there is also hope and light. Desmond Tutu wrote that “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” So, it is good for us to look at the bright side of life, and experience hope even when things distress us.
The prophet Zephaniah wrote these words of hope to a nation mired in deep distress, “The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.” What an exceptional picture that paints for us in these troubling times. God sings over us!
Fran Andrews writes that this is “kind of hard to take in sometimes, but when we do, it will send your spirit soaring.” The God of the universe actually sings over His creation, and you are a member of His creation. He sings over you! The Holy One, the Creator, the Sustainer of life, the Ruler, the King, the Mighty One sings over us! Can you think of anything more humbling? The Lord sings over you. No matter what is happening in your life, no matter your trials and challenges, God is with you every step of the way, and He is rejoicing in you and who He made you to be. He sings and rejoices over you!
This word picture in Zephaniah 3:17 is full of emotion. God the Father is the One who holds His daughter Jerusalem and sings joyfully in her presence. Just as a loving parent cradles a child and sings out of love, so God’s song over His people is born of His great love. During times of hardship, parents often pray fervently for their children and carry those burdens close to their hearts. That is what the Lord does for us. He seeks to comfort our hearts and rejoices in who we are to Him.
Leary Gates tells the story about when his children were young and afraid of monsters hiding in their closets and under their beds. He shared that he and his wife would tuck them in with a prayer and a song. Each had their own song with lyrics and melodies that mom and dad wrote just for them. In fact, Leary wrote, we recorded a “Mommy/Daddy” cassette tape (remember cassette tapes?) for each child with Bible readings, personal affirmations, and their own song. Most nights after prayers, they would turn on their tape player to listen to their Mommy/Daddy tape, often rewinding it to listen to it over and over. Our singing over them wrote Leary, soothed their anxious hearts.
Zephaniah 3:17 says that God does the same for us. As a loving Father, He comforts us with His presence and His voice. Unlike human parents, though, He never leaves us alone. And unlike human parents, His voice never tires of singing. That’s a good thing because we never outgrow the need for comfort and encouragement. There are times when our anxious hearts can only be soothed by His singing.
You may have a hard time believing the truth of God singing over us. I understand, but try this. Stop everything, quiet yourself, and listen. If you are careful to listen, I am sure you will hear the song of joy that God is singing over you, even now.
The pandemic may keep you from singing in church but be assured God never stops singing over you. “The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Are you listening?