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The Power of Singing

A few years ago, I asked my friend Sherry for her favorite Bible verse. For the two of us, our favorite is often the passage we are studying at the time, but she shared one God repeatedly brings back to her remembrance. At the time, I thought this was her verse because music and song hold a great space in her life, and she enters worship when she sings.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is in your midst. a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (ESV)

Zephaniah’s words are beautiful, but I didn’t connect with them. I can’t carry a tune in a backpack. But I missed the point. Missed it. However, God’s word never returns void, never comes back empty—it always fulfills His purpose and plan.

Anyone who knows me knows my children and grandchildren are a joy to me. Absolute pleasure. They are my teachers, and I learn from them.

A couple of years ago, I took my grandson to dinner because his mom and step-dad were having a date night. We completed his bedtime preparations, and he headed up to bed. I stretched out beside him (attempting not to crack my head for the forty-third time on his bunk bed), and we talked and talked. His eyes grew heavy and his body languid—all those long limbs just relaxed. I gazed at the sweep of his dark lashes against his beautiful skin, his full lips, and the tight curls of his hair. His long, strong fingers curled around mine, and I relished everything about him.

Then I asked him, “Do you remember the song Noni used to sing to you when you were little and about to fall asleep?”

He nodded and said, “Yes, I do.”

I began to sing. My wavering voice sang out into the darkened space. And this grandson began to sing, picking right up with me.

Jesus loves me this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong,

They are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

The Bible tells me so.*

I always add an old hymn at the end.

Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Jesus.

Oh, how I love Jesus because he first loved me.

There is a name I love to hear. I love to sing its worth.

It sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth.**

His voice mingled with mine—that harmony brought me to tears. His eyes were closed; I wondered if he was singing in his sleep. We sang the entire song together, my face bent close to his watching, absolutely delighted in him. Tears poured. They ran in rivers down my face and neck and dampened the coverlet on the bed. I didn’t bother to wipe them; I just let them fall. As the last words of the song echoed in the dusk of his room, I remembered the passage in Zephaniah.

My grandson handed me an epiphany.

This grandson loves nothing better than to be with the people he loves. And I was with him, and I took great delight in him, my heart swelling with love and this “something” I can’t even name.

Yes, I can. Joy.

As I looked down into his sweet face, his eyes closed, those words coming out of his mouth, joy filled me to bursting. He was quieted with my love. And I rejoiced over him with singing.

As his precious voice faded away, I let mine continue--just one more verse. I watched the rise and fall of his chest, and I remained in the quiet and stillness of the moment. All of my grandchildren’s faces rolled before me, each little face. I rejoice over each one with singing.

And I understood.

He takes great delight in us. Don’t doubt this truth.

God DELIGHTS in us. He is bent over us, just as I bent over that grandson. When the world is in turmoil and chaos, he will lean over you in the dark places, in the hard circumstances, and quiet you with his love. And just as I this imperfect, flawed Noni bent over one of my grandsons that night, so Almighty God bends over you—singing. God will sing over you, my precious Friends.

He is leaning over you, singing his song of salvation over your life.

*Jesus Loves Me

Anna Bartlett Warner (1827–1915)

Public Domain

**Oh, How I Love Jesus

Frederick Whitfield (1829-1904)

Public Domain

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