I cannot sing. The first time I realized it I was about 9 and I recorded myself (on cassette tape) singing a clip from “The Little Mermaid.” When I proudly sat my family down for them to hear it, I was shocked and horrified when I realized I was not, in fact, Amy Grant. My brothers were in hysterics. You’re welcome jerks. Just kidding… kind of.
But there are songs that never escape our lips. Songs that reflect something so much bigger than musical talent. I think it makes sense when a movie’s soundtrack is deeply indicative to what’s going on or what’s about to happen. We get it. Because while we’re not walking around hearing music, our lives demonstrate what kind of song our hearts are embracing. And before you think I’m getting all feely about the whole “heart” reference…
“The word commonly translated ‘heart,’ used more than seven hundred times in the Bible and one hundred and twenty times in the Psalms, has a broader meaning than the way it is often used today. It encompasses not only the emotions, but also the intellect, and the will. The heart also refers to the personality and true character of a person.” — The Daily Walk Bible, study insight. p. 687
Crisis are tricky. They mess with our songs. So often the songs in our hearts are stilled, silenced, or stolen. Most of the time we’re relatively unprepared for what will be asked of us, and with what measure of strength we will be required to respond. Sometimes they strike out of nowhere — no warning, no anticipation-building musical arrangement to alert us of their approach. Sometimes we, in our own short-sightedness make detrimental decisions that give us hints as to their impending arrival; but our vision is still not so clear, we think perhaps we’ve missed the iceberg. In rare moments, our hearts are stilled because we watched it coming from a mile away. There was nothing to do, no way to outrun it, and when it knocks upon our doors we know what’s on the other side. And this thought alone can suck the hope right out of us — until we consider something beautifully powerful we have been promised to expect out of their overflow… something love-dipped and completely saturated in hope.
My ability to overcome a difficulty is not directly proportional to my strength. He gives me a new song. And what better melody than one from God?
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” — Psalm 40:2-3
People who rely on gaining a new song promised by such a loving God are able to react to crisis in an entirely different way than someone attempting to escape the pit and sing again on their own — which is terribly sad, because we are not meant to, and we do not have to. When my child is weeping over a “crisis”, I do not stand idly by — that’s heartless. No, because I love him richly I delight in lifting him up, holding him secure in my arms, and whispering promises and strength into his heart. Likewise, I am not expected to pick myself up out of the pit alone. God does not call us to “buck up” when we’re broken. He does not call us to “figure it out,” on our own strength of will and determination. In the midst of our crisis moments, He lifts us out of the pit, and He gives us a firm place to stand, and HE puts a new song in our mouths. He makes us able to do what he has called us to do — give him glory. And out of the overflow of his loving intervention, many who witness the way this goes down will be given the opportunity to place their trust in him.
“and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” — Psalm 50:15
Could I recover from song-sucking crisis on my own? Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to try. So, when I need a new song, when I am tired and overwhelmed, I can rely on my God to put a new song in my heart. I can overcome because he will make me able.