I have this desire to burst out in song and praise lately. I’ll be walking down the aisle in Walmart, just trying to pick out what brand of dijon mustard I want, have a thought about God’s kindness, and it feels like I could burst into a Highschool Musicial-esque performance, but instead about teenage hormonal romance, it’s about the Creator of the Universe’s goodness.
It’s an awkward sensation, one I haven’t heard many others describe before. But there’s no doubt in its existence or its genuineness, and come to think of it, this seems to be a theme in Scripture. Hannah’s Song of praise. Elizabeth’s response to her birth. Mary’s Magnificat—the most famous one of all. Like how odd is that? Mary just walked in to say “hey, I arrived safely! How’s it going? And I’m sweaty and need to pee real quick and then we can talk! ” to her cousin, and then John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, and instead of being like “Cute! Let me feel!” All of the sudden she’s belting in the kitchen about the beauty of God. Feels like a Broadway performance in everyday Judea, like Mary and Elizabeth should have been on stage.
Back to my odd and similar sensation 2000 years later, in the Walmart condiment aisle. We aren’t in a musical. People aren’t supposed to be happy in Walmart—we’re all supposed to be stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of options and discontent with what we have—and stressed. But I feel like singing. What’s this about?
I have such mixed feelings when super-spiritual show off this type of confidence and joy in Christ. Those type of Christian who insert Scripture into everyday life and conversation, even with unbelievers. I actually love it and crave it. I observe their patterns, and I want more of it. I have a suspicion that’s what we are supposed to be doing. At the same time, I hate it and it makes me feel awkward and cringey. It doesn’t fit the script. We are supposed to be a little more worldly, disheartened, doubting, aren’t we? That’s all I know how to be as a Christian. It’s what I’ve learned.
And then, every now and then I get this taste of what it’s like to have the joy that infuses into the quirkiest of circumstances. The other day when—instead of just listening and nodding along and offering advice—I had the urge to pray for my friend over lunch about her frustrating season of marriage. That was odd, but I feel like I should have given myself over to the desire to pray. Or the other day when I saw a homeless woman and thought maybe I should ask her to lunch and pray for her and offer her some encouragement about Jesus, but I didn’t because it didn’t seem like the most rational thing. Or last week when I wanted to post Scripture on the walls of my house, on regular copy paper, just because. It feels odd and a little too Jesus-y, but I want it. I think I should have given into it.
It’s so interesting how I’m always rationalizing myself out of doing something that feels Holy-Spirit led.
There are seasons—as a born-again believer—where I would not have wanted to break out in song or pray for others or quote Scripture ever, because I simply didn’t understand it’s value. And to this day, even at church, I even do the thing where watering down my worship of God seems like the right thing to do. The most comfortable thing. The easiest thing. I don’t want to make anyone feel weird.
But lately, the urge is becoming too strong to sing, pray, dance, and put post-it notes of God’s goodness everywhere. And I think I’m going to begin to give into it. It’s becoming irresistible.
It feels like the only constant and the very truest thing is that God is good. It genuinely makes me want to raise my hands and burst into song, to pray at untraditional times and tell and re-tell (because that’s what we do the in the South with stories) of His miraculous works to anyone who will listen—not out of a pressure to look super spiritual because I’m the seminary student’s wife, but because there’s a song in my heart and becoming uncontainable. It’s growing and it won’t fit inside my anymore. The cup has hit the max, and it’s headed toward overflowing. I’m a little afraid of what people think of me, but not enough to stop me from showcasing His goodness anymore.
God is good. So, so good. So, so, so good.
This life is a musical of praise to the glory of His name.
And it’s no longer cheesy. It’s not forced. It’s not what I’m supposed to say.
It doesn’t even feel dramatic; it’s simply an appropriate response to the God of the universe.
It’s simply the truest thing in my heart today.
My plea to you today, is to sing with me, Christian.
He is good.
With love and in Him,
“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– Ephesians 5:19-20