“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” (Psalms 9:1-2 NIV)
David must have had a beautiful singing voice, and you can tell just by reading through the Psalms that one of the greatest joys in his life was to sing to his best friend, our Heavenly Father. He gives us such a beautiful example to follow!
But what if you… can’t sing?
I’m in that boat. I love to sing praises to the Lord, but I… truly… can’t sing! When I sing, everyone runs away! Even my loving family asks me to sing more quietly please… And as a result, I have learned to limit my singing to God to the times when I am in a big group of people and no one can hear me. Or when I’m in the shower…
In all honesty, the shower has become my favorite place to praise God, and one day, as I was belting out my off-key excuse for a melody, I heard God’s voice over mine: “I like it when you sing!”
That took me by surprise, and I stumbled out: “Is Your hearing okay, Lord? You know I don’t sing well!” Instantly I understood: God doesn’t pay attention to my lack of ability to hold a tune. What He hears over the melody (or lack thereof) is the love that is expressed by the effort. Any song, no matter how well – or poorly – sung, is beautiful to His ears when it is sung out of a heart of love.
Conversely, even a beautifully sung melody can be sung without love, and when this happens, it becomes like white noise in God’s ears!
This all reminds me of my teaching days. I had a guitar, and I would teach my students songs in French. It never ceased to amaze me how other people turned away from my music in disgust, but my students always asked for more. In fact, not one student ever told me that I couldn’t sing. None of them ever stuck their fingers in their ears, and no one ever left the classroom. I believe that their response was similar to God’s: They knew I was sacrificing to do something fun for them. They felt my love for them, for them, and their appreciation of my effort superseded my evident lack of singing talent.
No worries! God loves you. He loves it when you express your love for Him. When our love for Him pushes us to sing His praises, it is our love that He hears, not our musical abilities.
When you read Psalms such as Ps. 9:1-2, and you feel compelled, like David of old, to sing God’s praises, don’t worry for a minute who else might be listening. Don’t hold back, even if you are like me and you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Instead, let your love for God scream through. God will receive it. It will bring Him great joy, for He hears your love resounding through!
In His love,
(To access the entire “The Sling for God” devotional series, please click here.)