One of the things I appreciate about the Psalms is that they are a compilation of the writer’s authentic and transparent feelings about how they experience God in the midst of a broken world.
There are several types of Psalms; four that are most common, the Psalm of praise, the Psalm of thanksgiving, the Psalm of lament and the Psalm of trust. Some, like Psalm 18 can include all four of those characteristics. And as many of you know the Psalms were put to music and have been used in worship thousands of years.
In Psalm 96:1 David suggests we must “Sing to the Lord a new song…” Now please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I am not building a case of why we should sing more new songs. Like most of you, I love many of the old hymns! And yet there have been several “new songs” (songs written in the past few years) that have enhanced my worship during this covid pandemic.
For example, I was recently listening to the radio when the song entitled “Even If” by Mercy Me came on. It begins like this, “They say sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some and right now, right now I’m losing bad.” Sadly, my first thought was that this could become the theme song for many farmers and business owners. The writer of the song goes on to tell how it feels like he’s going through a fiery trial, but in the end he trusts in God for his salvation. The song closes with these lyrics, “You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good. All of my days, Jesus, I will cling to you come what may. ‘Cause I know You’re able, I know you can…It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Another song that I was introduced to a couple of years ago is entitled and also known as the “Kyrie Eleison”. The Latin and Greek translation of Kyrie Eleison is “Lord have mercy on us.” Possibly inspired by Psalm 51:1-6, the lyrics of the song are simple. “For the things we’ve done and left undone. For the ways we’ve wandered from your heart, forgive us we pray, forgive us we pray. For the idol’s we put on Your throne, for the loves we choose before Your own. Forgive us we pray. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy on us. For the lies that we clutch to our chests. For the fear that wants to steal our breath. Forgive us, we pray. And give us your grace. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy on us.” Oh do we need God’s mercy at this time!!
I have also been blessed by Lincoln Brewster’s song, “While I Wait.” Like many of the Psalms, Lincoln writes about a time in his life when he and his wife are waiting for God to do a miracle. Beginning with his confidence in God, the song begins, “Deep within my heart, I know You’ve won, I know You’ve overcome. And even in the dark, when I’m undone I still believe it. I live by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). Sometime miracles take time. When I fall apart, You are my strength, help me not forget. Seeing every scar, you make me whole you are my healer. While I wait I will worship. Lord I’ll worship Your name. While I wait, I will trust you. Lord I will trust You all the same.”
Back to thinking about how shutting the economy down because of the covid virus has especially impacted our farmers, even in the midst of “right now we’re losing bad,” I see them trusting God for a miracle. In some ways it would make no sense to plant the corn or soybeans. Because of the uncertainly of the impact of the covid virus, they really have no idea if there will be a market for their grain this fall, and yet they walk by faith and not by sight…sometime miracles take time. We wait.
I thank God for the gift of music and how it can give expression to our thoughts and feelings in the midst of our broken world so loved by God. I thank God for all the songs that have enabled you and me to express our praise, our thanksgiving, our lament and our trust. I would love to hear from you about a song, old or new, that God has given to encourage you during this pandemic. Call or text me at 320-226-2646. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To God be the glory, great things he has done…Mike Altena