I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. – Psalm 104:33
Anyone who knows me well knows that I have had my struggles with my health, mainly allergies and frequent colds, bronchitis, and one summer, pneumonia. (Good grief, who gets pneumonia in the summer?! I do, apparently. – *eye roll*)
The most frustrating thing about these physical frailties has been the loss of my voice – my singing voice, and at times, even my speaking voice. I have written a few posts regarding the kind of frustration that comes with losing the ability to communicate easily.
I would like to “sing to the LORD as long as I live,” but I’ve learned that’s not something I can take for granted. Every time my voice takes a vacation, I experience the feeling of an empty space in my life, until gradually it returns, and I promise myself I will never take singing for granted ever again.
A couple of years ago I lost my singing voice for an extended period of time, even longer than usual. Over the weeks and months I sadly came to accept that at church I was to mouth the words of the songs, meditate on and appreciate their meaning, and relish the time surrounded by brothers and sisters who sang their worship in heavenly four-part harmony. I felt I was getting a brief glimpse of eternity in God’s presence, a scene of which I was not yet a part but could look forward to as I wait for that glorious “someday” when I would be singing with them – forever.
Another blessing in my life is my church home group that meets every two weeks to fellowship, discuss the recent sermons, and pray for one another. On one of those nights I was asked, as usual, “How can we pray for you?” I responded with the first thing that came to mind:
“Would you pray I get my voice back? I want to sing to the Lord!”
When the prayer time came, the hostess of the group prayed a wonderful, heartfelt prayer that the Lord would give me back my “beautiful voice” so I could sing His praises.
A couple of nights later we had our daughter’s kids over to spend the night. As I lay next to Charlotte, she asked, “Nana, would you sing to me?” Of course, my heart melted, and I “gave it the ol’ college try.”
The results were less than stellar. After my voice cracked for the fourth or fifth time, I sighed and gave up. The little one was already asleep, so she didn’t see the tears. I prayed and again committed my voice to the Lord and resolved to be patient while it ever-so-slowly came back. I already knew what to expect – little moments of clarity and hope with slowly diminishing periods of hoarseness in between, until at last I could sing again.
Sunday morning I was in church with Charlotte, and just before the service started, we needed to make a quick trip to the ladies’ room. As we walked back into the sanctuary, the congregation was singing one of my new favorite songs, and the desire to sing with them was overwhelming.
What the heck... I thought, and I impulsively began belting out the words I had memorized …
… loudly, clearly, and right on key! My voice was back! Just like that!
I had never experienced a rebound as sudden as what had just happened, and it wasn’t a momentary recovery. I sang the entire the song by heart, and my voice stayed strong for every song after that. This time the tears weren’t from frustration but from sheer joy and wonderment. This was not the agonizingly slow recovery I had been expecting.
But then, it wasn’t about what I was expecting, or what I could do, or what I had worked on. This was God, pure and simple. It was an instant miracle that left me awestruck. He did it not only to surprise and delight one of His children, but more than that, for His glory. I knew it instantly. The title of song said it all:
“Yet not I, but through Christ in Me.”
Prayer: Lord, Your gifts are so precious, never to be taken for granted. You’ve given us ways to worship You that not only please You, but fill us with joy, as well. Your Word says that You inhabit the praises of Your people, and when we sing our hearts out to You, we sense Your presence among us – and within us. Thank You for being our heavenly Father, the Lover of our souls, our Counselor, Comforter, Shepherd, Provider, Protector, Healer – our Everything! How could we not sing to You? May we sing Your praises for as long as we live! In Jesus’ name, Amen.