When we both stumbled into the church’s kitchen that Sunday morning, both hunting for that caffeine fix, I knew that there were simply gonna be days just like this...
Days when you feel like tearing your hair apart.
Days that make you wanna stop whatever you’re doing and change lane, even midway.
Days that are short though they feel so long.
So that day, I stumbled alongside you, and yep the service ain’t over yet – in fact, the sermon was just about to roll on…we both exchanged our wry smile, and I hear you, oh how I hear you – how you felt like you were going insane that day – trapped inside the four walls of crying babies, cranky toddlers and sick kids everywhere, every time.
And that you feel like crawling back into bed.
The world whirls today and you feel small, and the magnitude of it all is drowning you under, caving you in.
Today the news blares the death darkness of the Middle East crisis and our eyeballs witness violence spiralling in unprecedented ways and you told me that the contract fails and your profit goes and your business partner wants out.
I nodded – days when the toddler screams non stop, and your potty training fails more than succeed, and you are just teetering away with fatigue at the end of the night, every night, and you haven’t slept well for 9 years – that too is a catastrophe of its own kind.
Today all you can feel is your dwarfness. And the daily is sucking you dry. You have nothing to offer, yet you still need to give.
Our seismic crisis wells up and chokes up our internal, breaking our inner fragments. And we both wonder aloud – what is simply wrong with me?
Our soul screaming for its own relief.
And yeah so I saw you reached into your pocket to grab that dollar to push for the caffeine magic, and I opened the pantry to get the 3 in 1, full bodied, top granulated instant caffeine rescue.
We both wanted that lift.
That soul cure.
Just to let you know – that when you think you can find that relief in anything temporal, the next blood curdling scream of your kids’ mouth from the hallway will send your own blood boiling, your internal raging, because the thing is, the perspective that keeps you sane and the strength that keeps you going, and the joy that keeps you fighting can only come from heaven above.
It’s strange — but isn’t it sometimes the littlest things that can tick you off the most, and the menial that can sap you the driest, and how on earth does something so beautiful like parenting is so hard yet so holy at the same time?
It’s when I am bleary eyed and running empty on weeks of hurry and flurry, that i bring this to mind: that our saving grace may be very well be found on our lips.
“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:1)
Sometimes, no, every time, it is our song that will differentiate us and set us apart.
It is our song that will free us and enlarge us.
It is our song that will pierce through the darkness around us.
I’ve read it in the commentary that week, that when the Lord first gave the Promised Land to the people of Israel, the extent of their territory would be equivalent to 300,000 square miles (Joshua 1:4), but that under David and Solomon’s reign, they occupied a mere 30,000 square miles – a tenth of what was promised. And presently?, they occupy a little over 7,000 square miles, way below what they were promised, what they were capable of conquering.
So uhm, ever felt your limitations?
Ever felt drowned in your own crisis? And not feeling like you have what it takes in life to achieve?
Ever felt the mundane cowering over you with no way for you to break out, to enlarge, to pursue your dream, to live the life you want?
So I sorted laundry and started dinner. The boy wanted me to show how to make his dinosaur fly and the bub squished her water babies in excitement.
I sang the song my husband wrote softly – Praise Now till the Wall Comes Down.
More mess in the home, more mess in my heart. My joy threatens to vacate and i fight for a reason to sing.
I don’t understand it but the Word says that the way to break forth out of barrenness and out into our breakthroughs is to have a song on our lips. It doesn’t compute with me that day, but to enter into God’s greatness is to worship Him in our smallness.This music of our faith, this music from a different world – can liberate us and strengthen our souls.
Isaiah 54 is a prophecy about the Gentiles, previously barren and unfruitful but later on bearing more children than the “wife of Jehovah”, Israel.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.” (Isaiah 54:2)
I have read it again and registered it to the heart – that the way to break out from our present confinement is to sing aloud in our barrenness. And that the way for us to break forth from our mundane is to magnify the Almighty in His largeness. And maybe that’s the whole point – for small days to eventuate into greatness, you have to sing aloud and fight for the everyday joy because ordinary days like these are meant to teach something holy and lasting in all of us.
So you ask me – how do we leave meaningful lives when our own lives seem so messy, so mundane, and the songs of our days are so out of tune? Through singing a different song. Through tapping into the power of the Spirit when we magnify God in His perfection. Through praising God in our tears. Through magnifying Him in our limitations. Through remembering His goodness in our crisis.
What is constricting us is God’s opportunity to enlarge us. When I can’t believe and the mountains seem to loom ahead of me – that’s when i need to sing, sing and sing. That’s when I need to open my mouth and praise, praise, and praise.
It’s our songs that will keep the locusts from stealing our joy, it’s worship that reverberates through the night that will break us out of our prison cells. And it’s in the darkest hours that songs can heal us, strengthen us, enlarge us.
And when you feel most discouraged and unproductive because nothing seems to be happening, is exactly when you need to make a great noisy song —
“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).
And see the wall of Jericho falling down with a shout.
And witness Jehoshaphat’s army triumphing with a cry.
And singing joyfully and worshipping intelligently we’ll see our own lives transforming.
“The Lord is the giver of our songs; He breathes the music into the heart of the people” Charles Spurgeon