Well, it’s kind of a yucky morning out there. It’s cold, the rain turned into snow overnight, and it’s one of those days where my warm cozy bed is pretty inviting. In fact, the duvet didn’t want to let me get up and kept calling me back for snuggles.
It’s Sunday. No one would miss me at church, would they? I am tired, and would love to nestle into this warm bed with a cat on one side and a golden retriever on the other and just stay put.
Ah. Today is Sunday. Part of me wants to stay home on this cold day. This time of year, when the days are shorter and darker, I struggle. That 30 second walk across the yard to church might as well be a 5 mile hike. But today is Sunday. I’ve committed to leading our church in musical worship today. I can’t just stay home.
John Piper’s words about preaching to your soul and singing to God when you can’t shake depression come to mind, as they do often. I know that there are multiple effective ways to combat depression. I know that God has not chosen to heal me of it completely. I know that the best way to battle this morning is indeed to preach to my soul and sing to God. So, I will swing my legs out of bed and do it.
As I get ready, I preach to myself, although my thoughts wander to other things. I plug in my headphones and listen to the music that is planned for this morning. Songs I chose while thinking and praying about the passage my husband is preaching from. I sing a bit, and hum along, while I jot down notes about the order of the songs and how the band will play them. I think about each member of the band and the strengths they bring. I am thankful for them on this cold drizzly morning.
I put my shoes on and pull my jacket out of the closet. Yes, it’s a short walk to church, but it’s cold outside. Not as cold as it will be in just a few weeks, so I should be thankful right now. Instead, I am thinking of the cold, wondering how many puddles I’ll walk through, so very distracted.
The sanctuary is dark, and I am the first one to step inside this morning. I switch on the main lights and head for the piano. I’ve got a Bethel song spinning in my head, one that reminds me of the intimate relationship God offers, the deep love He has for me.
I sit at the piano and feel the action of the keys. There is nothing like that feeling in all the world, to me. It is medicine, it is joy, it is satisfaction, it is a flood of emotion.
The rest of the band is here now, we need to start practicing. As we launch into Open Up the Heavens, my earlier thoughts are banished. My fingers and my voice take hold of the notes, and I am thinking about the imagery of a flood, a river, coming from the heart of God. I am thinking about words from Psalm 3, “I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain”. I’m calling out to the Lord this morning, and listening for His answer.
Singing with people that I love brings joy to my heart, and leading my church family to the throne of God multiplies it many times over. The sermon on repentance and grace was something I needed to hear – something I need to preach to myself over and over and over. Yes, preaching to my soul and singing to God was what I needed. It’s what I need every single day.