Wailing into Dancing and Clothed with Joy

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling really sorry for myself.  I have two things that are really difficult for me as we continue our nomadic lifestyle.  I miss my good friends and I miss being part of a church community.  This second yearning, especially, is hard to find on the road.  And it manifests itself by me missing singing songs that I love in worship.

The Praise Band at Wedgewood

When I was a pastor, I chose the hymns that we sang at the traditional services.  I also had a little input in the songs we sang at the contemporary service.  If I wanted to sing a particular song on a particular Sunday, I just had to mention it to the music people.  My brother-in-law was the leader of the Praise Band at Wedgewood for the last eight years I served.  He and my sister taught me lots of new songs that became favorites over time.

So, on a recent early Sunday morning, I was feeling really down.  I missed my church community and I especially missed singing with my brother-in-law and sister and the Praise Band at Wedgewood.  I cried as I thought about how I don’t have anyone to sing with anymore.  Would I ever get to sing “You Are Holy” (a particular favorite) with people I loved again?

Wanting to sing those familiar songs, I downloaded “100 Top Praise and Worship Songs” so I could sing along.  King David wrote, in Psalm 30:9-10, “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?  Will the dust praise you?  Will it proclaim your faithfulness?  Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.”  I understood how he felt when he wrote those words.

Finally I pulled myself together and climbed out of my pit of despair.  Fortunately it was Sunday and time to go to church.  And, even better, we were going with John and Jackie.

We went to the contemporary worship service at Bethel International UMC which has a wonderful Praise Band.  The first song in the worship service was unfamiliar, but the second song . . . I started crying again as I realized the intimate way that God loves me and cares for me.  The second song was “You Are Holy.”  As I stood beside my son singing this familiar song I delighted in the ways God answers the deepest desires of our hearts.  My desire that morning wasn’t anything big or important.  It might seem insignificant or trivial to you.  But singing “You Are Holy” with my son was the arms of God surrounding me and lifting me up.

God loves us and cares for each of us on such an intimate and personal level.  He met a need in me that seemed too personal and insignificant to even voice to someone else.  God reminded me that I am precious to him and that nothing is hidden from him.  In doing so, the rest of Psalm 30 came true for me, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”

Thank you God for the ways in which you constantly show us that you care about the deepest desires of our hearts.  Nothing is hidden from you.  Nothing is too small to matter in my relationship with you.  Thank you for meeting my need in such a personal way.  I will praise you forever.