March 20th - MP3
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:1-4 (NKJV)
I can tell that I have spend a lot of my time singing songs of praise to the Lord, because they are firmly entrenched in my brain. Often, in the midst of stress, I hear them playing back to me and bringing words of encouragement. "Yes," you heard it right--my brain plays back worship music like an endless MP3 loop. I am pretty sure that I'm not going crazy, but the habit of worshiping of God has found a place deep within my psychological makeup.
There is no question that the circumstances of life can be challenging if not down-right heart-breaking. One of those circumstances was watching my grandmother descend into the "Never-Never Land" of Alzheimer's. I felt the pain, because I was close to her; she poured a lot of loving effort into my life. Late one night she "escaped" from my parent's ranch house, and I found her "lost" in front of my house in her nightgown, a purse and no shoes. Her feet were bruised and cut--so, I picked her up and carried her a short ways across the field to my parent's house.
It was painful to watch grandma lose touch with reality as she slipped further into the fog. There was one thing that she continued responding to. If someone played or sang an Old Hymn of the Church, her eyes welled up with tears; and occasionally, she would sing along. It gave new meaning to the claim of the Psalmist: "His praise shall be continually in my mouth."
When the worship of God becomes a beloved activity in one's life; It drills deep into the soul, bringing spiritual health and strength. It also gives us courage to face the crucible of impossible situations, better known simply as "life."
Life is full of opportunities for the creation of stress. They come rolling our way in waves as varied in size as the waves of the ocean. We know that the waves are coming, we just don't know how big they are going to be. Waves of different sizes roll over our lives and it is daunting just to keep our equilibrium. If you feel overwhelmed by the happenstance of life you just joined a global network that includes every sane person on planet earth. At some point in life everyone faces a crashing wave that is beyond simple solutions and trite platitudes. So, how can we cope with the stress that is a product of the not welcomed, unexpected, overwhelming circumstances of life? Well...I sing to the Lord! I sing and pray until I am touched with the peace that passes understanding.
Author's Note: Not a person goes through life without experiencing some heart-breaking situations. This fact alone is reason enough to live in fear; However, I trust the Lord. He is the lifter of my head--He will make all things work together for my good--He will walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death... OK, I feel like singing. My brain just started playing "Let It Be Jesus." Enough said. RJD