Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (NIV)
"Many is the night when I awake and there is a song going through my mind." "Too many times to count, songs and music have sustained me." These are a few of the many responses to my recent meditation, "My Songs In The Night". Actually, the responses touched me so profoundly that I decided to share my reflections here.
Firstly, I did not realize that so many of us are awake in the night! I had not given much thought to the possibility that in the quiet darkness, many are lifting hearts toward God through the songs of faith. The songs (including the Psalms) are indeed strengthening God's people in their life's journey. The psalmist's experience is truly contemporary: "I remembered my songs in the night" (Psalm 77:6a).
I am convinced that, in the night, all of heaven lights up with the songs and prayers of God's people. Dear friends, perhaps the most vibrant expression of the church happens during the night — and only angels witness the magnitude. Surely that possibility could be uplifting in those times when we can't sleep, or when we feel alone in our faith journey. We are not alone — not at all!
With that in mind, I entitled this reading, "Our Songs In The Night". Here is something that we share together, even if we never meet, and even when we are by ourselves.
I assumed that I had invited readers simply to share their "songs in the night". But I received much more. The feedback included precious stories, experiences, and opinions which accompany the songs. That made me realize that our songs of faith do not stand alone; they do not reside in a vacuum. Our personal "songs in the night" are entwined with our memories, our experiences, our loved ones, and our deepest emotions and values. Our songs have a way of connecting us with ourselves — our past and our future — and with each other in a profound way.
Within the hearts of God's family there exists a rich interior world. Hidden here is every memory, every sorrow, and every burst of praise. This is not readily apparent to one another in our day-to-day busyness. Through sharing, they become our common possession. We share ourselves with one another. We rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. In other words, we encourage one another to mature in love and empathy through sharing our common possession: our songs in the night — along with the stories, beliefs, and hopes that they carry. God made no mistake in making the Body of Christ to have many members, all working together.
This is not merely "my dream in the night". I believe that this is how we can grow into maturity together and become a light in the dark night of this world. And what a bright light that can be in our own society where an individualistic worldview keeps so many secluded within themselves, and where constant change keeps people dislodged from any sense of rootedness or common purpose.
I thank you for your responses to "My Songs In The Night". They have stirred me into action. Now, when I awake in the night, I work on memorizing songs and psalms. Then, during the day, as doors open, I strive to facilitate sharing. It's surely worthwhile — not just for my sake, but to benefit all, and, ultimately, to advance God's kingdom. Won't you join me in these practical steps?
Prayer: Lord, teach us to value the gift of our songs — and to wisely use this gift to build each other up. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Now Let The Vault Of Heaven Resound" (Lyrics)