A Time for Singing!
This Friday, October 17, my grandson will turn 1. We celebrated this momentous milestone this past weekend with his Mom, Dad, family and friends. To say there was much joy, laughter, and celebration would actually be an understatement. It was definitely a time for rejoicing!
As I watched Benji play, laugh, and pretty much “ham” it up for his adoring audience, I couldn’t help but think about one year ago as we waited for him to be born. We were all praying that he would make it safely into this world. My daughter-in-law’s pregnancy had not been without incident and we were all too mindful that almost one year earlier, we were gathering not in joy, but in tears, to say good-bye to my son and daughter-in-law’s first son, Silas, who was stillborn. It had been a rough couple of years.
But as I witnessed the sheer joy on my son and daughter-in-law’s faces as they celebrated this most precious gift, their son, I thought about the following Bible verse.
“For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
(Song of Solomon 2:11-13)
All of us face times of winter, don’t we? The storms and rains may come to us through sadness and sorrow, serious illness or an unexpected diagnosis, struggles and hard times, or any other number of ways. During those times of winter, we are often confronted with doubts and questions as we cry and grope for answers and understanding. But as I’ve discovered, when I’m in the middle of winter, it’s hard to see the spring.
Yet, in my own trials, I have come to realize that while I may not always understand nor have all the answers to my questions, and while I may not be able to see the spring, I can know that spring will come. It may not appear as soon as I would like or it may not even look as I had envisioned it, but spring will come. How can I know that? Because of faith!
Hebrews 11:1a reminds us: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If you read through Hebrews 11, you quickly see that while some of the heroes “who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again” (Hebrews 11:33-35a); still others were tortured, mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, tempted, slain with the sword, afflicted, and tormented (see Hebrews 11:35b-37). Yet these heroes of faith “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
I’ve discovered that in those times when I’m in the middle of sorrow or difficulty, when I’m in the middle of winter and can’t see spring, I have an advocate before God who will quicken my faith and renew my hope. I love the Amplifed Bible’s translation of John 14:26.
“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”
When I feel helpless, defeated, broken, and without hope, the Holy Spirit becomes my Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby! He does what I can’t do. And, even more, He causes me to recall “everything I have told you” – all those precious promises that can help us once again see spring. And, sometimes, through our Father’s mercy and grace, we not only see the hope of spring. Sometimes our Heavenly Father blesses us with a little taste of spring right here on earth – when all we can do is sing!
That’s what my heart did last weekend as we celebrated Benji. And although its October and Fall is in the air, I’m thanking God, today, for spring. The winter is past and the time for singing has come!