The most glorious thing I enjoy on this earth is singing with others who share the same hope as I do in Jesus. I enjoy it most as we sing hymns, when they are sung from the soul, not just a hymnal or the screen. This particular thing Christians do together is the closest thing to heaven itself. It's like we can look around as we sing together and ask, don't you long for "oh that day when freed from sinning?" it's the one thing that currently keeps us from experiencing a pure joy of worship, we still sin. But if you know Jesus, you get a taste of that joy that will one day be pure.
Then came the day when our son, Haddon, died as he laid in our lap. Worship, and particularly hymns, took on a new meaning in my life. Suddenly singing about 'when sorrows like sea billows roll' was a daily reality. I have felt sorrow to such a degree that I thought I would be overtaken and drown. I have felt and cried to the Lord 'when darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.' But I also I learned that I like to sing a hymn in my grief because they are written in such a way that sums up our solid hope. Do you notice a pattern in most hymns?
1. We sin, and we are helpless to stand before God by ourselves
2. Jesus made that way to stand before God
3. Jesus was raised from the dead
4. Praise God we will stand before him together for all of eternity free from sin
I have a different joy now as I sing, because now its mixed with deep longing. I feel it rise in me as I sing:
"when with the ransomed in Glory,
his face I at last shall see.
It will be my joy through the ages
To sing of his love for me."
To finally see his face, the one who took my son, yet showed me more about the worth of His son through unbelievable sorrow, I can't even sing with my voice. Tears overcome me when I sing of heaven. So I silently mouth a lot of songs in my home , my church and my car, but I silently mouth the words with my whole heart and soul.
(I realize no hymn or any song is compared to the comforts found from the Word of God. And, maybe as you look back on previous posts, God has certainly shown me that his word alone is what brings real, living hope when he allows sadness and sorrow to come.)