Since we moved 10 and a half months ago, I haven’t sang a single song at church. Sang a single song is kind of a tongue twister.
My last 10 years in Orlando I sang on the stage most Sundays of 9 of those years. When I say I haven’t sang a single song (it is even hard to type that phrase) at church since we moved I am not simply talking about singing on the stage in front of people.
We attend a pretty large church that has a ton of people that can sing and play the guitar far better than I will ever be able to.
But every Sunday since April 1st of 2012, I have stood in the crowd and I haven’t sang.
It isn’t a rebellious thing. And it isn’t because I am standing there admiring the musical talent on stage.
For the last 12 years I have had the privilege of singing from the stage in different churches. Leading in songs that worship Jesus.
It was awesome.
And any time I wasn’t the one leading, I would stand and analyze the person leading.
That was dumb. But true.
But our very first Sunday at our new church here in the Atlanta area, I was sitting next to my wife, Brittany, and also next to my cousin Adam. The following day we would check Adam into a rehab program.
We didn’t know anyone in our new city. Both Brittany and Adam had some nervous sickness going on.
What were we doing here?
What led us to this place?
And as the music started to play and the leaders on stage began to sing, I couldn’t seem to get any words out.
It wasn’t because I wasn’t believing the words of the songs being sang.
In a way I don’t really know how to describe accurately, it was as if Jesus was quietly whispering to me…
I remember thinking, “this is weird.”
And then it was almost audible as Jesus said, “let me sing to you for a while…”
And apparently “for a while” meant more than just the 3 songs that day.
“Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
You could have no idea what those old words have meant to me.
I have led music at churches so many times and totally disregarded these words.
Every week that we have gone to church since we have moved here, I am brought to tears. Sometimes it is within the first 30 seconds of the first song that is upbeat and not emotional. Sometimes it is within a part of the sermon that is not that compelling.
For me, part of that is that it is simply that Jesus has allowed me to hear him “rejoicing over me with singing” maybe for the first time ever.
What if, with as much emotion as I have sang songs about how much I love Jesus, Jesus has sang songs with great emotion about how he loves me?
What if week after week after month after month Jesus has wanted me to not sing so that He could let me listen to him singing about how much he loves me?
And guilt has no part in the song?
But Jesus is simply rejoicing over me.
It is quite absurd.
And it is entirely true.
This is a song I helped write with one of my great friends, Kyle Carden based on the verse above. Now, more than ever, I think about this song all the time. What if Jesus wanted to quiet me with his love, rather than silence me with shame?
What if He actually rejoiced over me?
And what if I stopped singing long enough to hear a song that has always been sung about me?