A Singing Heart - Rachel Weaver
Here are some true examples of what a song can do.
I was in the middle of the airport, but there it was—the distinct sound of singing. I looked around and a gentle looking, middle-aged woman was singing softly as she waited for her flight. She was singing a hymn that I knew and it cheered my heart and blessed my day. I told her so and it blessed her day.
He made his living at house repairs and went to all kinds of homes in the course of a week. He also heard all kinds of things at the homes where he went, but today, as he worked he heard a lovely harmony coming from the window over his head. Inside that window two young girls were singing as they did the morning’s dishes. Instead of the fighting and scolding that he often had to listen to, he was treated to uplifting singing. The workman left that place inspired to train his children to sing like that. What a testimony those two girls had even though they did not know it.
Two men bent over their dying mother in the nursing home. They had watched beside her bed through the long, lonely hours of the night. The young nurse who came into the room, sensed their sadness and began to sing softly as she cared for the woman. Tears slipped down their cheeks and they relaxed visibly in the comfort of the old hymn. The elderly woman opened her eyes, smiled sweetly at her sons and then she was gone to her Maker. “Thank you, oh thank you for making Mother’s last moments so sweet,” said the one.
A mother and her four children were picking strawberries in a large pick-your-own patch. As they worked, they sang together sweetly. They often did this to pass the time as they worked. When they stopped for a bit to exchange their full bowls a lady nearby begged them to keep on singing. “I love to hear those old songs.”
She was keeping someone’s baby and it was wailing fretfully for its mother. No one seemed to be able to calm it, so she took the sobbing child into her arms gently and began to sing softly as she walked back and forth. Gradually the sobs subsided and the little one snuggled down and went to sleep.
The children were arguing, the baby was fretful and I was feeling uptight. It was time for supper to be ready and I had not even started it. My husband would be home soon and I was not ready! The Spirit prodded me gently. “Sing. Be joyful. Bless the Lord.” I did not feel like doing that at all. I wanted to cry, but I began in obedience. As I sang, my heart lifted and I noticed an amazing thing. The two arguers had stopped arguing and begun to sing. One of them picked up the crying baby and hushed her gently. The whole atmosphere had changed in just a few minutes—all because I started to sing.
What Does The Bible Say About The Use Of Song?
The Word is full of singing and praise to God. The Psalmist, David, was a man who knew what singing and praise to God could do for the heart and the spirit. He overflowed with song. His book contains more references to singing and praise than any other book of the Bible. David experienced lots of hard times. He went through major trials. I think that this is one of the reasons that he sang. I believe that he learned through suffering that one of the ways to keep his faith intact was to sing to his God.
“But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.” Job 35:10
“Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart.” Isaiah 65:14
God is a wonderful God. He deserves our praise and worship and adoration. I believe that He designed singing as one way to worship Him. Remember that Lucifer the archangel was a beautiful music maker, singer perhaps. But he fell from heaven because his heart was lifted up in pride. He was not worshiping the Master. Let us use the voice that God made to bring honor and glory and worship to Him.
When singing praise from the heart, the heart is lifted up to its Maker. The Spirit of God inhabits the praises of His people. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Ps 22:3). It is this Spirit that gives us the joy that we need to face each day. He is our Comforter.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
We have learned this through hard experiences. Recently we sang our way through the longest, most difficult, four years of our lives. The Lord met with us and ministered comfort to us while we were singing. Sometimes in the darkest times, when we did not know where to turn for help, we would simply sing. The Spirit would lift our hearts and comfort our spirits and we could go on again. I remember one day, especially. I had gone with the older children and some of their friends to minister to some grieving families who had lost children through the Amish schoolhouse shooting. My own heart was very sad because of a child that was straying. As we sang songs of comfort to those grieving families, God did a work in my own heart and the tears flowing down my cheeks were healing for my own soul. Another time in the middle of the darkest time, I was having a hard time getting hold of faith. The Lord reminded me that He was able to do anything. He could fix my problem as easily as He had done any miracle in the past. I responded to Him, “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.” As I sat in the song service that Sunday morning, He arranged for the songs to be all about His power, His greatness and His holiness. Tears flowed all through the singing as the Spirit ministered faith to my heart. That morning the Lord did something in my heart that I cannot explain. Faith arose and the enemy was conquered. I knew that God had heard my prayer and that He had answered and would continue to answer.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy”. Psalm 126:5
I have often watched in amazement as songs that we were singing touched hardened hearts and tears coursed down the cheeks of sinners. This especially happens when you take children with you to minister in song. The song of a pure child will touch a chord deep within the heart of a sinner and point him to God in a way that nothing else can. Take your children with you to rescue missions or hospitals and nursing homes and minister in song. It will be good for your children and a real testimony to others.
“Our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
Singing not only comforts and cheers our hearts, but as we sing we can help to cheer, comfort and encourage others.
Have you ever been having a difficult time and then heard a song that so inspired you that it changed your attitude for the rest of the day? I think that is what Paul meant when he said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). This is part of the ministry of the saints. You can minister like this in your home, mothers. You do not need to step out of your doors to do this valuable work. If you sing to the Lord and encourage your husband, he will be better able to affect the world that he touches in his workday. If you sing and encourage your children, you will have a happier atmosphere with less bickering and quarreling.
Did you ever notice that when you sing, others usually join in? Singing is rather contagious. When a mother sings her children will often join in, especially if she does it often. If it is an unusual occurrence they might only stop and listen, but even that is helpful. Make singing a regular part of your daily work. You will all feel better. David says, in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:” This medicine costs nothing and comes from a sanctified, satisfied, surrendered heart. “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee” (Psalm 5:11). I think that the Lord must love to hear us sing. I love to hear my children walk around the house singing joyfully. It makes my day. God, who created us, must have the same pleasure, when our hearts and minds are lifted heavenward in singing. “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” ( Ps 107:22). Sometimes it is a sacrifice, humanly speaking, to sing when you feel like crying or whining. But always, the dividends are greater than the sacrifice. And always it produces joy in our hearts.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Ps 16:11
Singing should be the natural overflow of the Christian’s heart. “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:3), and Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” A redeemed heart is a happy heart. This does not mean that you will never have trials, but even in your trials, you will find the comfort of the Holy Spirit available, and singing is one way that He uses.
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10
Try singing when you are struggling with a temptation to sin. Lift your voice in a song, particularly one that pertains to your struggle, or just praise the Lord in song and it will help you gain the victory. Teach your children how to do this kind of battle, too. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (2 Ch 20:22). When God’s children were struggling, praise brought the victory. Today, He will do the same for you. Never forget that you have this weapon at your disposal.
I have been privileged to have been exposed to singing as long as I can remember. I went to a school where a cappella singing was taught very seriously. Everyone knew how to sing and the whole church was deeply involved in singing. My mother loved to sing and had a beautiful alto voice. I loved to sit in church and hear her singing her part. She not only loved to sing and sang as she worked, but she encouraged us to sing while we did the dishes and swept the floor. By the time we were ten and twelve we were singing in harmony, ourselves. When I left home and began to work for others I discovered that not nearly every family was a singing family. To my disappointment, very few mothers were singing mothers. Since I was a mother’s helper, I saw the direct impact that this made on the families that I worked for. I noticed that a singing mother made a singing family and a singing family was usually a happy family. This so impacted me that I made a commitment to the Lord to be a singing mother if He ever gave me children. He did give me nine children over the space of the next 21 years. I have not always been faithful to my commitment, but I have tried to sing as I worked and played with our children. I sang as I rocked my babies to sleep and we taught our little ones to sing, too. We sing at the table and before we go to bed at night. We sing when we are happy and we sing when we are sad.
We go singing for others and have friends here to sing with us. It is, perhaps, our favorite thing to do. We prefer singing together to listening to tapes and CD’s. One of the reasons for this is that so often the tapes that we get of others singing are lacking in the power of the Spirit. They are nice, a cappella music but more entertaining and perfect than inspiring. My husband often says that God has made the most beautiful instrument that was ever created. The human voice is able to do so much, and when you couple the voice with a happy heart you have a special instrument of praise.
I like to teach singing to groups of children and watch their enthusiastic response, even children who thought that they did not like to sing. Singing together in a group is a great way to help your children become enthused about singing. Sing in a group, sing as a family. Love to sing! Do it from the heart!
The Christian faith is a singing faith: if our hearts are full our singing will be full. Singing should come naturally from the overflow of your heart, but sadly enough, many Christians do not sing much. Perhaps it is because you are not aware of what singing can do for you and your family. Perhaps it is because you do not feel like you know how. Hopefully I have inspired you to sing by now. But if you feel like you do not know how, here are a few suggestions:
Find a friend who knows how to sing and is willing to share. He could teach you the basic rudiments of singing very easily and then spend a bit of time each week helping you to sing well.
If you do not have that available, you can send to Christian Light Education for their music course to learn the basic rudiments. Sit down as a family and do the lessons together. When you have learned the basic information, then purchase a number of good hymnbooks, like the Christian Hymnary (available at www.homefirespub.com). Go to www.charityministries.org and get their congregational worship tapes to help you as you follow along in the hymnbook. This will accustom you to how it should sound as you sing. It will also help you to sing and as you sing more you will sing better. Singing is like anything else: the more you do it, the better you get. This exercise will help you get closer to the Lord if you do it to worship Him.
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Eph 5:19
“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 14:33
Taken from "The Heartbeat of the Remnant"