The first thought that greeted Lynn as she woke was the issue needing to be resolved once she got to work. Yesterday’s fiasco had left two members of her team at odds with each other. Though she disliked confrontation, all eyes would be on her to find a solution. Even now, in these early morning hours, she felt the pressure.
A quick glance at the clock gave her freedom to go back to sleep; her alarm wouldn't go off for another seven minutes. Closing her eyes, Lynn concentrated on clearing her mind and relaxing in her warm bed. The sound of the furnace kicking on, the hum of the fridge down the hallway and her husband’s steady breathing beside her, combined to create a backdrop to the last minutes of her rest.
But instead of sleep, her ears tuned into the sounds of the hour. Her mind continued its processing; slipping into second gear as the sun began to rise. “What's today's date?... The 15th? It is. Ahhhhh.” The gas bill was due but the paycheque wouldn’t be in their account until tomorrow. They were down to the last of the milk and she had to pay for her son’s field trip. She blew her breath out in a puff. “Now what?”
“I need more sleep. Think about things that are lovely…”
Despite focusing on the good, negative thoughts and stresses continued bombarding her mind like crows, swooping down on discarded food.
Recognizing the patterns of thinking that were trying to take hold and that they had the potential to affect her entire day, Lynn cried out, “Oh Jesus! I need you to rescue me from this worry and dread. Lord, I need to have your mind.”
She sensed a lessening of the assault so she rolled over, finding a comfortable position as the alarm signalled the official beginning of her day.
Jesus’ gentle voice whispered above the noise. “Sing daughter” and a healing melody floated in the air, helping her to get out of bed.
“Jesus, loves me, this I know…”
“Such simple words of truth.”
“For the Bible tells me so…”
“Hmmm. This is nice. No, THIS is lovely.” Peace was settling over her heart.
Suddenly, a fresh concern swooped in. Lynn remembered her daughter’s “out-of-line” behaviour the night before. It had to be confronted, regardless of the explosion of words that would, most certainly, follow.
“Aaahh.” Lynn rolled her head attempting to loosen the tension in her neck.
Words of life, based on Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11, broke through the dread. She corrected her posture and exhaled slowly. “Come to me. You are burdened with a heavy yoke of worry and concern. I want to trade my load for yours. Mine is so much lighter.”
“Oh, Jesus, thank you.”
“Sing, child, sing” He encouraged again.
And so, with an obedient heart and a husky morning voice, she joined in.
“Jesus loves me. This I know…”
Later that day, she reflected on God’s words recorded by King David. “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”* The realization came to her, as fully as the sun bursting through the clouds and wrapping everything in its path with warmth and brightness. Her Heavenly Father had proven the effectiveness of a weapon of spiritual warfare. The simple act of worship, through song, had planted a flag of joy deep in her heart, in spite of the difficulties she had to face.
Worry had been sent, from the enemy lines like a thief, to steal her peace and joy. Hope had been assaulted, her strength and optimism threatened. Logic and reason had not been successful in restoring her. Going back to sleep hadn’t been the answer, either. But singing the reality of her position in Christ Jesus with a shaky, awkward voice, had. The difficulties of the day had lost their power to hold and manipulate her because she chose to rejoice in the truth of Jesus’ love.
What grips your mind? Is your heart squeezed with concerns, even now, as you read this testimony? Jesus wants to trade burdens with you. He offers you the tool of worship to accomplish the process. Clear your throat. If you feel awkward then sing under your breath, but sing you must. Praise Him for what you know to be true. Sing, child, sing.