Monday, September 29, 2008

God Speaks Through Music: My Songs

Oh my! There are so many times in my life that God spoke to me through music, but three times in particular come right to my mind.

When I was in college, I struggled often to find funding for classes and textbooks, but one time in particular led to a miracle! I was working 30 hours a week and also carrying a full load so I would qualify for my loan. I had Human Anatomy and Physiology and found that I just couldn't stretch my budget to buy the book for the class. So I was going to the library every night to read the text book in the reference section. I couldn't keep up. No matter how hard I tried, I was slipping behind. One afternoon, I was feeling really low. As I walked away from my class, I looked up in the sky and saw a whole flock of sparrows. I thought immediately of the song "His Eye is on the Sparrow":

"Why should I be discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely,
and long for Heaven and Home?
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
(Words: Civilla D. Martin, Music: Charles H. Gabriel)

I was still worried, I have to confess, but I felt peace. The next day, as I was leaving the Human Anatomy class, a girl I didn't know came right up to me and said "God told me to give you this." She handed me a brand new Human Anatomy and Physiology book...the sticker was still on it! By the time I could speak, she was gone. It was just a book, but when hard times came to me later in life, I remembered that song and that book. His eye is on the sparrow...and I know He watches me.

The next song that had a great impact on me was the chorus "Give Thanks". My husband was dying of cancer. He had been in the hospital for several days and I could see he was slowly slipping away from me. His mother and I took turns staying with him all night because we didn't want him to be alone. One night, he was restless. He had pulled and tugged at his oxygen mask and he just looked frightened. I remember leaning over his bed and stroking his dark hair and I began to softly sing to him:

"Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks, because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son...
And now, let the weak say 'I am strong'
Let the poor say 'I am rich'
Because of what the Lord has done for us...give thanks."
(Words and Music by Henry Smith)

Jim immediately grew still. His brown eyes locked onto mine and he smiled and then he slowly fell asleep for the night. I can't sing that song without reliving that moment and remembering his smile and his brown eyes.

After he went to Heaven, life was so hard for me. I missed him so much, I literally thought I would die myself. I can't begin to describe the despair and the pain of those first few weeks and months. I had my little boy, only three years old, and I had to get on with life, but there were nights and mornings when I just wanted to go to Heaven myself. It hurt so bad. I would try to be strong all day, but when night came, and the house grew quiet, I'd lie in our bed and just weep. I'd struggle with reading God's word and trying to find comfort and even trying to find God. One night, I was awake all night. When morning came, I looked out the window and saw the pink dawn. In my head, I heard the song:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been, thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed, Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."
(Words: Thomas O. Chisholm, Music: William M. Runyan)

Oh! I sang it over and over that morning and all the lonely mornings to come and one morning, I meant it again.

Music has always had an impact on my life, but these three songs are some of my favorites because each time, they pointed me to a loving Father who cared and KNEW me, inside and out.


LauraLee Shaw said...

Dee, I'm deeply moved by this testimony. YOu always move me to tears with the authentic expression of ypur faith. You are an example for the believers, and I'm proud to call you friend.

Josh said...


I must say that your song choices are beautiful, and the testimonies accompanying them are even more beautiful.

I love how each struggle in your life has brought a new song and a renewed sense of hope in Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing your wonderful testimony with all of us.

Tracy said...

Oh,Dee, you've deeply touched me with this post! What a powerful testimony to the faithfulness of our God! Thank you for sharing your amazing and heartfelt, musical, life exiences with us. Bess you!

LauraLee Shaw said...

I'm going to use this for "Lifesong in the Limelight" tomorrow, okay? Thank you so much for allowing me to use it! I know it will touch many...