Music can have an effect on you without you even noticing. I sometimes hear a song on the radio and immediately think of a time in my life that was marked by a place or event. A while ago I heard the song, “Sailing” by Christopher Cross. I was immediately taken back to a family vacation to Pompano Beach. I was in a souvenir shop with all sorts of items made out of shells and this song was playing in the shop. It was the perfect song, just for this perfect moment. This moment in time was apparently filed in my brain and it is recalled every time I hear this song—which now-a-days is not a lot. When I was dating Ron he had and still has a love for the Oak Ridge Boys. He would play them in the car. To this day when I hear “Make My Life with You” and “Sail Away” it can bring tears to my eyes. Our young love beginning to grow and all the things we were looking forward to doing and accomplishing. Beautiful young love.
My mother was from Tennessee thus my love for old country stars, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and Dolly Parton. Yes, we watched the TV show Hee Haw. One day my father brought home a Keith Green album. This was the first time I was introduced to contemporary Christian music. I loved the record—I loved the piano on the album. It has such a bouncing feel to it. This was not a typical thing my dad did, bringing home records. We grew up with hardly any music records or tapes. We had a few 8 tracks though. You might have to google that. Ha! So when he did this, I took notice. Thus began my interest in contemporary Christian music. This has continued thru today—even more so with so much availability to hear and play music.
My favorite place to play music is in my car. I can belt out the lyrics without the concern of not sounding good or messing up the words. I have experienced many times God’s holy presence right in my car. Crying and calling out to him for comfort and answers through music and prayer. When my mom was ill I traveled a lot between Punxsy and Johnstown and Punxsy and Pittsburgh. Those moments by myself with my thoughts, hurts and pain. I literally laid it all out in those few hours with God. Tears and all. Once I arrived home I was again ready to pick up the cross I was bearing and begin again. These times were very valuable in my growth as a Christian and were between a daughter and her heavenly father. Private and personal.
Music was present when I was deathly ill a few years ago. I had no voice, no memory of much of what was happening around me but one song played over and over and over in my mind. This song is very near and dear to my heart. It is by Natalie Grant, “Held.”
The words flowed through my mind and I was given a peace in my mind and heart that God was with me. He was holding me, watching over me, loving and caring for me. Live or die, He was going to be there with me. I had a great peace inside with whatever the outcome of my life here on earth would be. At that time it was truly just me and God. God was driving the car and singing “Held” over and over and over. Just absolute peace for my soul. Colossians 3: 16 expresses this so perfectly: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…”
Many times, we only associate singing with happy times, but the concept of singing bringing strength for trials comes right out in Acts 16. Paul and Silas are unjustly imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel, and what do they do while they’re in prison? Sing! (Acts 16:25) Other Bible verses also encourage singing:
“I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalms 59:16
“For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” Psalms 63:7
The Bible is filled with words of praise to God. I encourage you to sing to God—even if you can’t carry a tune. Worship your God—between you and Him. Build a relationship through song.
Lately I my favorite Christian song is “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells.
It is all about staying strong with the ups and downs of life. It truly speaks to my heart about life here on earth. Praise him – lift Him up with your voice.
My intimate relationship with God includes music. I hope yours does too.