Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalms 25:4-5 NKJV
Have you ever longed to pray yet aren’t sure where to begin? That is a struggle for me too. This passage from Psalm 25 was a cry of David’s heart that has become my own most regular personal prayer. If you think about it this Psalm was originally written to an ancient tune that helped the readers remember the words. I believe God allowed those melodies to be forgotten, not so we would simply convert it to prose, but so that each generation could put it to their own music. A few years ago I recorded my own version and I hope that it might help you to make these words your own prayer today.
First I would like to thank Beth Alisan for encouragement to make my poem “What if Joy? into a song. Personally I was skeptical as song writing and poetry are much entirely different at least for me. But the idea kept nagging at me. Finally, I sat down with the guitar, prayed and worked on a melody over the last couple of weeks. By the way, I highly recommend the blog that Beth writes – Lessons from a Lab – I have always admired the multitude of life lessons that she has passed on to us while walking Adi, her Labrador Retriever. You can find it at https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/163893015
So thanks Beth and I hope you like this simple song. Have a blessed day all and no matter what you are facing, stop and ask the question, “What if Joy is the path that God is making to see me through?”
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3 ESV
James tells us that we are to count trials as blessings. I am always reminded of the hymn, “Count your blessings, but if James means the trials that I have been through I sometimes wonder if our dear brother knows how to count! Can he really mean that when we meet trials of pain or a broken relationships that we should come away saying, “Yup – now that’s a blessing. I can’t wait for the next one!”?
My own recent testing began after having a wisdom tooth removed. Somehow in the process a nerve in the back of my throat was damaged. So for the last three weeks, singing has become a painful process and even speaking I must carefully shepherd both the quantity and volume used in order to communicate. Needless to say, for a big talker like me (Blame it on the Italian DNA) this has been a traumatic lifestyle change. But since James has commanded that I count trials as joy, here are a few,
A) I am reminded that words have value because it is an effort to say almost every one of them
B) I have had to ask for help while singing at nursing home and been delighted by the response
C) I get to listen while others sing around me in church because I cannot get a note out
D) My wife has taken over the bulk of our joint prayers and it is wonderful hearing her bring our family friends and church before the Lord.
Truthfully, I earnestly am hoping this will be temporary (My doctors think so) but in the meantime I know that this is one part of God’s work in my life to build up patience into my treasury of faith. Now that is something only God knows how to do!
Here are a few photos of my friends and helpers from Saturday’s meeting at Sunshine Christian Village. The weaker I have been, the more precious God’s help has become to me!