RU Singing or Crying?

A friend of mine in Florida shared a funny story from his own family. It seems his son was making a trip with his three-year-old child down I-95 heading south on a smoke-filled day during a period of drought. The young son was getting restless after a while on the road and began to cry out “I’m thirsty!” The father responded patiently, “There’s no place to stop right now—we’ll stop soon.” That did not satisfy the young child who hollered, “I want something to drink now!” So trying to get the child’s mind off thirst, he said, “Would you like to sing with Daddy?” To this suggestion the child whined, “Daddy, I can’t sing and cry at the same time!”

That story makes me laugh—but you know the kid is probably right. You can’t sing and cry at the same time (unless you are a country music singer).

This story brings to mind Psalm 137. Here we find the people of Israel had been taken into Babylonian Captivity. They were gathered together sitting by the rivers of Babylon and weeping over their situation with their musical instruments hanging on the willow trees. Their captors prompted them to sing one of “the songs of Zion” but they refused saying, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4).

So the people of Israel chose to cry and not sing. Eventually the songs of the Lord would return to their lips, but not for a while…You may feel the same way today. But I would suggest you think differently. Here’s why: When we lift our voices in praise, we drive away the blues! It’s true! Maybe not instantly, but eventually and surely. It works! I think the reason is because “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3 KJV). This explains why Paul was in prison rejoicing, and not crying. That is why he wrote, while chained, these words: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).

You can’t sing and cry at the same time but you can drive the tears away when you praise the Lord anyway. If you don’t believe it—try it. Come to worship tomorrow and sing with all your heart to the Lord the songs of your faith. Then watch what happens…

Okay, I will confess that occasionally I do shed a tear or two when I worship, but it is always tears of joy and relief as my heart is moved by God! That is just the way it works! Try it, and you will see!

So RU going to be singing or crying? Come on—Quit your crying and join me in worship rejoicing! See you tomorrow (And guess what? You even get to sleep an extra hour as you Fall Back your clock Saturday night, November 6).

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron


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