The holiday season of 2017 has arrived. This will be the fourth season that our family will be without my beloved husband, a beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather. As in the past, I have found myself reaching out to receive the blessings of the season with grateful thanksgiving.
Last week I was browsing in a Christian bookstore. My attention was arrested by a picture hanging on the wall. It was of some little birds lined up on a wire, and underneath was this caption: Sing unto the Lord a new song . . . That is certainly not a new thought, but it captivated me. "That can be my Christmas theme," I thought. " I like that." I got in the car, and drove home, happy with the idea.
However, just hours later I was hit by one of those unexpected waves of grief that seem to come from nowhere, and I found myself thinking, "Where can I find a new song? Where can I find It? In the midst of the ongoing reality of our loss, where can I find a new song?" I went to bed with that question on my mind.
The next morning I hurried to get up and get my trash taken out in time for it to be picked up. Coming back through the garage into the house, I found my attention directed to a small booklet lying on one of the garage shelves, covered with dust. I'm sure it had been lying there for years, and I had long ago forgotten all about it, but now I absent mindedly picked it up, and saw that it was written by one of my favorite authors, Andrew Murray. It is a small book of thirty-one daily devotionals, and is entitled Waiting On God. I carried it into the house, fixed my cup of coffee, and sat down to inspect it. I opened it to the middle of the booklet, to Day Fourteen, and I saw that the title of that day's devotional is, "The Way To The New Song". Furthermore, the Bible verse for that day is one of my favorites, Psalm 40: 1-4: "I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my going. And HE HAS PUT A NEW SONG IN MY MOUTH, EVEN PRAISE TO OUR GOD."
Andrew Murray then writes of the sure blessedness of waiting patiently on the Lord, of joyfully consenting to His having His way with us. Patience honors God as I give Him time to have His way with me. Patience expresses my faith in His faithfulness. Through patience, I lay down my self - will, and embrace His timing, and His perfect will. In Psalm 62:1-2 I read, "Truly my soul waits upon God; from Him comes my salvation: He only is my rock and my salvation."
What is THE NEW SONG? It is God, revealing Himself in and through us as our life and light and hope and strength . It is God who blesses us with the patience to leave all in His hands. It is God who gives us words of praise to our God! The new song is not a gift we bring to God. It is a gift He bestows on us, and He bestows the gift in giving us Himself! Waiting patiently will bring a rich reward, and that is a sure promise. What are you waiting for this holiday season? May we sing a new song, a song of patience and a song of praise to God. As Colossians 1:10-12 admonishes, may we live lives worthy of the Lord, pleasing to Him in every way and bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Let us listen for HIS NEW SONG!