The Same Old Song
Have you ever felt you’ll never have a new song to sing? That things will never change no matter what? That come the end of 2015 you will still be singing the same old song?Today as I write, I am feeling a bit like that. I have long been waiting for news to arrive that would deliver a new song in my life and yet today the delivery comes and it is not what I had hoped for. Disappointment really surrounds me perhaps a little shocking because I wanted that new song to sing. I dreamed of it, I could taste it, and I could see it in my imagination but today I learn that God has another plan.
It is hard to find your trust in circumstances sometimesÂ isn’tÂ it?Â In the heart of disappointment we wonder, OK God, what now, where do we go, and what should we do. Yet though as I put my complaint forth I know that underneath it all I am still blessed and because of the blessings that I do have that alone provides the song in my heart. I read a story just yesterday that illustrates this greatly.
The story, Suffering and Rejoicing in a Haitian Tent Camp, published in Christianity Today in January of 2011 is by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision.Â In this storyÂ he recounts an experience he had while visiting a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, nearly a year after the devastating earthquake. The church’s building consisted of a tent made from white tarps and duct tape in the midst of a sprawling camp that houses thousands of people still homeless from the earthquake.
In the front row of the church sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God. The worship was full of hope and thanksgiving to the Lord.
No one was singing louder or praying more fervently than Demosi Louphine, a 32-year-old unemployed single mother of two. During the earthquake, a collapsed building crushed her right arm and left leg. After four days both limbs had to be amputated, but today she was leading the choir, standing on her prosthesis and lifting her one hand high in praise to God.
Following the service, Stearns met Demosi and her two daughters, ages 8 and 10, who were living in a tent just 5 feet tall and perhaps 8 feet wide. She had lost her job, her home, and two limbs, but she was deeply grateful because God spared her life on January 12th of the year 2010. ”He brought me back like Lazarus, giving me the gift of life,” says Demosi. Demosi believes she survived the devastating quake for two reasons: to raise her girls and to serve her Lord for a few more years.
Richard Stearns comments, ”It makes no sense to me as an ‘entitled American’ who grouses at the smallest inconveniences, a clogged drain, or a slow Wi-Fi connection in my home. Yet here in this place, many people who had lost everything expressed nothing but praise.” Then he continues, ”They have so much more to offer me than I to them. I feel pity and sadness for them, but it is they who might better pity me for the shallowness of myÂ personal walk with Christ.”
As I read that story yesterday I never thought how much it would apply to me today but I too would think these people would pity me for my shallowness in the blessings of new songs that I already have.
New songs perhaps are more of a byproduct of just being obedient to our Maker by giving our trust fully to Him. It begins with aÂ belief that morphs into trust and with those two thoughts firmly planted we realize that God will be there for us during all times and then we will see the reasons for singing even in the midst of chaos or disappointment.
Our focus verse this week is the new song of David that he discovers from waiting. He learns that he can sing because of his faith and God lifts him out of the pit of despair, firmly plants him on the ground, and helps him to move forward. All of these steps put a new song in David’s heart as it did Demosi in Haiti.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3 (NLT)
A New Song to Sing
New songs can begin after weÂ cry out to God otherwise we have no reason to expect to sing at all for if we have no relationship we will have no song.Â Received is a new life through our belief in Christ along with a reason to live for Him. God hears us clearly when we cry out and with our trust and belief our attitude will change giving a firm foundation that there is a new song to sing.
So realistically how does that look in real life? There are four ways to renew your life and find out that you too have a new song to sing.
- Climb out of the Pit ”“ You know that things cannot stay the same and must change. You have to get clear about what you want but you cannot do that without talking to God first. He often times will helpÂ you see new things ifÂ you stop and listen in the pause of your cries.
- Overcome the Rocks of the Yes-Buts ”“ Those yes-buts can really get in your way of moving forward. We often sound like we want to move forward however we throw a ”but” in the mix and that moves us backwards instead of forward. ”Yes, God I want to trust in you, but I simply can’t forgive that person.” This kind of thinking will never allowÂ you to fully trust in God becauseÂ you will always be second guessing Him. Ask God for guidance and then step over the rocks and move on because He will be there to help steady the way.
- Focus on Moving On ”“ Keep your shifting thoughts on what is working as there really is great power in the attitude of your gratitude. It is the positive focus that will enable you to move forward. This great tool led by the Holy Spirit gives direction for your life and that moves the song in your heart keeping you singing as you navigate the path. You will move in the direction that your thoughts go so if you place your attention on the happy and healthy that is the way you will move.
- Stay on the Path ”“Â You must stay on the path of God ifÂ you want to be able to sing new songs. It is only through Him who provides life that new songs reveal themselves to you. IfÂ you keep your eyes directed on God’s path thenÂ you will know whereÂ you are going. There is an old clichÃ© that says, ”If you don’t know where you’re going you’ll probably end up there,”Â whichÂ is true in life so know where you are going. Walk with Christ at your side and He will help you up the hills and across the rocks steadying you as you go as you trust in Him.
It is not easy to always sing a new song but it helps to have a plan. Climbing out of the pit of disappointment or waiting is the toughest part but with our cries of trust, God will pull us up. There are a couple of good verses that speak according to the truth of God to help us remember that God is on our side;
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
‘I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord. ”˜They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
So when you areÂ looking for a new song to singÂ a prayer is a goodÂ place to start.Â PrayÂ that God will help you trust him by allowing the Holy Spirit to comfort you even in the midst of trials andÂ that your eyes will be open to the greatÂ abundance of blessings that are occurring all around you. Be motivated by the understanding that God hears our cry of prayers. And find comfort thatÂ a new song fills your heart because God is in control.
Your life can begin again by trusting God no matter your circumstances; you will find your voice to sing a new song.
Yours in Christ,
Stearns, R. (2011). Suffering and Rejoicing in a Haitian Tent Camp,Â Â Â Â Christianity Today. retrieved from http://www. Christianitytoday.com
Post Script; I am out of the pit and passing the rocks because I can see theÂ new songs all around meÂ to sing and with God’s help I will keep moving forward.
What are your Thoughts... on singing new songs in the midst of chaos? Have you found the key to joy while going through trials? Do you fall in the “pit” when God doesn’t seem to be hearing you?Â Â Â Â Â Â Join us in discussion on the topic of singing new songs in old circumstances or other related topics on finding your trust in God.