A New Song

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  2/3/2013 3:58 PM

SongA New Song
By Shirley Mitchell

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”
Psalm 40:1-3

My mother has given her daughters and granddaughters the legacy of music.  She was born in the depression as the 11th of my grandfather’s 12 children.  Her family was one of the poorest families in their small town, and as petite as she is, she was no stranger to hard work on the farm and harvest fields.  When she was a teenager, her father found a way to get his youngest daughter a piano.  She played that piano over and over.  She worked hard in school, and the LORD brought this sweet naïve country girl a full scholarship to a college in the big city of Lexington.  There she majored in music and has taught for over 50 years.  She has passed this great love for music down to her grandchildren who sing and play violin and piano.  For her Christmas presents, she asks her grandchildren to play or sing her a song.  She has taught us that music is the language of our hearts and souls and songs fill us with joy and encouragement while connecting us to God, our Father.
Psalm 40 speaks of God putting a new song in the mouth of David.  David says that he was waiting patiently for the LORD.  God responded to him and heard David’s cry.  God pulled him out of the slimy pit where he had been stuck and unable to help himself.  We don’t know if it was a literal physical pit or a figurative physical pit where his body needed God.  It also could have been an emotional pit where he had sunk into depression or a mental pit where his stinking thinking had led him to make wrong choices.
God not only pulled him out of the pit, He placed him on firm ground.  He gave David a strong starting point.  Then God put a new song in David’s mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  He gave David a new song and not the same old story that had become so familiar.  He gave David a whole new song and not merely a few chords of praise.  God put it in David’s mouth.  This means David sang beautiful praises to God instantly.
My mother will play one piece of music for many weeks before she will record it.  When my mother gives my daughter Mikayla a new piece of music, it takes her hours and hours to play it well.  For the children’s program at church, they practice a full semester for the children to know the songs.  A great amount of human effort goes into making a song sound good.  When God puts a new song in our mouth, it is not the kind of song that we have practiced over and over to sound right.  It is the kind of song that bursts forth in so much joy and elation that it is irrelevant if it sounds perfect to the human ear.  It is the sound of the heart singing because of the new revelation.
Being in the pit as David described is no picnic.  The pit symbolizes one of the lowest moments of David’s life.  The LORD Almighty who sits enthroned in heaven above reached down to David below and pulled him out of the pit.  This experience revealed God in a brand new way to David.  His heart overflowed, and God put the new song in his heart to help him express the joy of knowing God in a new sense.
Music has a certain power of its own.  Senator Henry Reid from Nevada said, “Simply put, music can heal people…Music helps all types of people to remain forever young.”  Barbara Crow, former president of the National Association for Music Therapy says, “Music Therapy can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort – between demoralization and dignity.”  Now imagine what happens when the music is God-honoring.  If music is used as therapy for Alzheimer’s, stroke, and depression patients, and for breaking down walls of silence with those who are suffering from physical ailments, imagine its power when it taps into the power of God.  Soak that in, my friend.  Imagine the power of music when it is worship to the true, living God. 
My prayer is that you and I will see this year as a chance to let God pull us up to new levels with Him.  I don’t want to get caught in the trap of familiarity and complacency but to spring to fresh knowledge of Him.  I want to see my crisis as a mere stage for Him to make Himself known in my life.  Let’s begin by asking ourselves some questions and praying for a release of His Spirit.  Ready?
Ask yourself these questions with me:
When was the last time I burst out in a song of praise to God?
Do I desire to have a new way of thinking where I begin to sync with God’s plan? 
Do I need a power boost that only comes when the God of the universe reaches down to me and sets me on strong, solid ground, giving me a fresh start? 
Have I slowly become complacent with life that I am stuck singing the same old song? 
Pray with me:  Lord, we praise You!  We cry out to You to come to us.  We all need You for something.  We all need Your presence, care, provision, and protection.  If we are stuck, pull us out and set us free.  Put a new song in our mouths!  Heal us.  Bring us Your comfort, dignity, and closeness of intimate relationship.  Let us be the redeemed who praise You so many will see and put their trust in You.  In Jesus’ mighty and wonderful Name, we pray.  Amen.
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