Days like this, I come to my time with Jesus with mainly questions on my mind. I have a lot of decisions to make, lots of concerns rolling around in my head, and like any human, I'd love some guidance. Still, I cannot help but come with an awareness that he is worthy of more than my panicked need for direction. He is not some sort of celestial mapquest to consult when I am feeling lost. He is my Maker, and relationship with him is about so much more than marching orders.
So this morning, instead of launching immediately into a prayer for answers to my questions, I sat there on my knees and began to sing some hymns: How Great Thou Art, Be Thou My Vision, Come Thou Fount... When I ran out of the ones that came to mind, I picked up the hymnal sitting on our newly delivered piano, and I flipped through the pages and continued to sing: The Wonderful Cross, What Wondrous Love is This... on and on.
It was wonderful, full of so many reminders of truth. In one of my favorite books (Hinds Feet on High Places), the protagonist, Much-Afraid, spends many chapters walking through trials and facing the discouraging lies thrown at her by her enemies. On one of these difficult roads when she cries to the Shepherd for help, he teaches her a simple but powerful defense against trial and discouragement and lie: he tells her to sing. And when she does, the lies are silenced and her heart is strengthened. This same principle has been so true in my own life. When I am much afraid, songs of truth keep my head above the flood waters.
One of the songs that spoke to me most this morning was "How Firm a Foundation", which includes these words:
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.
When I come to spend time with God, I come to a God who walks with me through flood and fire, and who will never desert me to my foes. Sometimes I just can't see that until I lay aside my questions and lift my voice to sing.