I have been a singer all of my life. But, a time came when I lost my song. I couldn’t find a reason to sing.
In the spring of 2010, at the age of seventy-four, I retired (kind of, sort of.) I don’t think I really thought it through. It just seemed like time for me to live near family. So, I bought a house, my first house ever, and moved to the Arizona desert leaving behind friends and colleagues of a lifetime.
I imagined my nieces and nephews throwing me a house warming party for my new abode. My sisters would weep with gratitude at my return after such a long absence, and any church would be glad to have me, wouldn’t it? After all, I had racked up many years of experience and wisdom and skills in a variety of ministries.
These were not conscious thoughts, of course. Certainly they were never verbalized. They were there, none the less, hiding deep inside my attitude.
What a blow to my ego! There were no banner headlines, no parties and no rejoicing at my return. At church, I was just another congregant among a multitude of others.
I was totally lost! I missed my ministry. I missed the pulpit. I missed my friends, and I missed the esteem that I had always been accorded. I didn’t know anyone, and even worse, no one knew me. I had lost my identity.
Friends had told me how exciting and how much fun retirement would be. They talked of travel and golf and leisure, but there was nothing fun about any of this.
I would go to a small church, I decided, so that I could really get involved and be of service. I would go where someone really needed me. I tried, but I soon discovered that no one was interested. I was attempting to invade a tight knit church family discovering that they didn’t want anyone else.
After several months, I left whining, “I can’t do this anymore, Lord.”
No one ever called to see whether or not I died. All that information they had demanded of me, was a total waste.
Following that experience, I went to a large church. I liked the church. I liked the people. The preaching was good, and I liked the way they did things. But, nothing had changed for me. I was still lonely and alone, and my heart was devoid of song.
Sitting there on Sunday morning I was tempted to stand and shout, “Somebody! Put me in charge of something.” I made myself go to church faithfully and went through all the motion, but most Sunday’s I just felt like crying.
It is wonderful how God knows our thoughts and feels our feelings, and how He arranges for just what we need.
One morning, our sweet worship leader began to sing a song about seasons and how we can always find a reason to sing no matter what is going on in our life. If I quote the words to that song, I’ll have to pay somebody big bucks. Song writers are funny about things like that. So I’ll depend on you to know exactly what I am talking about.
As those around me sang, I suddenly woke up knowing that God was speaking directly to me telling me that no matter how difficult life seemed I had many things for which to be thankful.
I went home thinking about seasons and singing remembering the greatest vacation I ever enjoyed. I traveled, with friends, to New England in the fall of the year, when the whole world was resplendent with color. It was impossible to take in all the beauty surrounding us. We drove up and down the hills in Vermont singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” It was easy to sing in the midst of all that glory.
Summer and winter, spring and fall are not the only seasons of life. I found myself in a dry desert season both physically and spiritually. The Arizona desert is an extremely dry place, but no dryer than my spirit at the time.
No matter what troublesome season you are trying to navigate at the moment, be assured, God has made provision for you. He has provided rain for the dry places.
Joel 2:23 – 24 says, “…He will cause the rain to come down for you…and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.”
Isaiah 35:1 – 2 tells us, “… The desert shall rejoice…even with joy and singing…”
In the midst of the desert, God put a new song in my mouth, and I remembered a multitude of reasons to sing.
Psalm 40:3, “He has put a new song in my mouth – praise to our God…”
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW AND YOU WILL SING AGAIN!