When I reach the River Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside. Death of death, and hell’s destruction, land me safe on heaven’s side. Songs of praises, songs of praises I will ever sing to you, I will ever sing to you.
This is such a powerful verse. I am struck by how fears, death, and destruction are put aside awakening a song of praise within us. I think about how often fear, death, and destruction are part of our lives. We hear it all the time on the news. And now with a 24-hour news cycle, you can hear about why the world is going you know where in a handbasket any time you want. You don’t need to wait to see fear or hear about someone dying or encounter pain, there are countless channels dedicated to telling you. Or you prefer, you can just refresh your newsfeed on your computer, because the internet will find in any gaps.
I get that the world is not all ponies rides and chocolate rivers. I get that pain is real. I know that there is heartbreaking suffering and struggle. But, we focus a lot of energy there. So much that we can feel paralyzed, unable to do anything besides reach for another bag of the clearance Valentine’s candy we picked up at the store yesterday. I mean, you can’t pass up Godiva at that price!
I am not trying to be Pollyanna or tell you that everything is going to be fine. Struggle is real. Pain is part of this human condition. Joy is also baked and built into the mix. We just don’t trust the joy is as real as the pain. If something good happens, we think it is a trick or won’t last or feel guilty for enjoying a moment of grace when others are hurting. If we wait for all the fears and death and destruction to finally be ended, we might not ever sing. But if, in moments when our souls feel their full worth, we risk singing, there is a beauty in that moment. Moreover, if you risk singing out praise, someone might join you. And someone else, then someone else. To be sure, that doesn’t mean everything is fine and dandy. It just means that we believe in a God who is still at work and still creating and still saying that brokenness is never the last word. And that truth makes me want to sing.
Holy One, hear my song, my prayer that comes from my heart to Your ears, trusting that You are there in the good times and difficult moments. That Your resurrection promise of life is a light to my life every day. Amen.