A Song of Birthing.
When we think of the idea of birth several pictures may instantly come to mind. A little baby taking its first breath, likely in the form of a loud cry. An expectant mother in the final stages of labor, both exhausted and in full anticipation of the expected joy at the end of what has been an arduous nine-month journey. A nervous father, wondering what lies on the other side of this life changing event. Regardless of what images the word birth may evoke, they are all the signs leading up to a tremendous change. Cries will cease, pains will diminish, and nerves will settle. And the family will have expanded by one.
In our Made to Worship series we’ve been looking at different ways we worship and how that can deeply impact our spiritual and personal lives. One simple, yet profound way to receive more of what God has for us is by singing. In Isaiah 54, the Lord likens the exiled Israelites to a barren woman. They probably felt hopeless, in pain, not knowing what the future had for them and their once thriving nation. That’s the opposite of a birth story. There was no anticipation of the future. No joyous moment awaiting. God’s command to them in the midst of this? Sing. Even more, ‘…burst into song, shout for joy…’ When we sing the praises of God we are declaring among other things His promises for us, His hopes for us, and His righteous view of us. And in so doing we will ‘Enlarge the place of [our] tent..’ God wants immeasurably more for us than we could imagine and singing is a powerful way to enter into that. One pastor I used to know would say that, ‘When faith is in the heart, praise in on the lips.’ When we’re declaring the praises of God with our voices, that’s taking a step of faith, no matter how big or small. And just like with the exiled Israelites and their eventual return to the promise land, God will honor our worship. He will enlarge our tents. His kingdom will expand here and now by the choral proclamations that burst forth from our mouths. He will be made known more deeply in our hearts and serve as a witness to others who have yet to hear of His promises. The next time we worship the Lord, together or individually, let’s remember the power of singing. And let’s sing just a little more confidently, in anticipation of what new thing God would birth in our lives.