I’ve been reading Psalms lately. And it’s brought to the forefront of my mind a truth that I learned this year. Praising God brings us the peace of His Spirit. Seems simple.
Yet, it’s something that I hadn’t really experienced a whole lot of until this year. I’m naturally quite tone deaf. And I’m a writer. I like music for the lyrics. And I don’t like it to be too loud. And I can’t really pull songs out of my head to sing them, because of the whole tone deaf thing.
So at the beginning of the year it was a bit of a surprise when I delved more deeply into hymns praising God.
I had knelt in desperate prayer on my first morning home after our daughter was born. “Please, Father, help me know how to stay close to thee.” I knew the chaos of a new baby and that my typical morning study time was being spoken for. And not only that, my daughter was in the NICU so slow, dark mornings with just me and the baby were out of the question. I would rest, pump, get the other kids going, and visit the hospital.
But on the blessed first morning the Lord’s Spirit whispered an unexpected answer into my heart. “Just stay close to me.”
Just Stay Close to Me
That phrase became my measurement of my spirituality for months. Driving to the hospital I would ask myself if I felt close to the Lord. In the quiet confines of my car, I’d sing praises to Him, hoping to invite Him into my day. And it did.
But more than that, I began to rely on the hope and testimony found in those praising words.
When I was struggling to bond with my daughter while being so far from her most of the time, I sang to her. I was amazed at her love for the words and the connection I felt to her while sharing sweet testimonies of the Lord. It became a strength to me and to my relationship with her and our Savior and God.
Praising God became a favorite way to shed the worries of the world. It kept me close to Him.
On one particular day I sang the words, “There’s surely somewhere a lowly place in Earth’s harvest field so wide, where I may labor through life’s short day for Jesus the crucified.” And it struck me that I was doing that. The work I was doing, balancing a family at home and a baby in the hospital. Fighting to give those kids everything they needed, was exactly the labor the Lord wanted me to do at that time.
And it became sacred and Holy work.