Isn't that beautiful? An art that expresses emotions...so true. Music can lift you up, it can bring you down, it can excite, it can inspire. Music has the ability to soothe, to calm, to relax. Often you can tell how someone is feeling, just by what is playing on their iPod.
When I'm down, or angry about something, you'll quite often find me at the piano. When I'm nervous or uptight, I unwind at the piano. When I'm feeling ambitious, I'll pull out Bach or Beethoven. Somedays I actually have to practice, like the parts of Handel's Messiah I played in church on Christmas Eve. My favorite repertoire to play at the piano is still the sacred music, whether it's old hymns, contemporary worship - I love it when they're combined. I think a big part of the reason for that is because I know the lyrics. Melodies can be so beautiful and moving, but once you know the lyrics, that changes everything.
Music is mentioned over 800 times throughout Scripture. The book of Psalms is made up of songs, written mostly by the amazing musician David - songs that speak of God's faithfulness and love. After being saved from Pharaoh, Miriam burst into song, praising God for His wondrous works. Luke 1 records how Mary, the mother of Jesus, glorified God through song. Many times we are prompted to praise God through songs, with instruments, using music.
It's through music that I feel closest to God. I realize that Scripture is God's Word, God speaking directly to us, and prayer is actual conversation with God, but it is through worshiping God in song that I feel direct communion with Him. What a gift! I'm so thankful for all those that God has gifted with the ability to write music and lyrics that glorify Him.
One great example of this is my friend Dave Siverns - he just recently released a CD, "Songs for Singing". He specifically wrote these songs for the church to be able to use in worship. You can buy his album on iTunes....you should seriously check it out.
The song that has most recently grabbed my heart is "Never Once" by Matt Redman. To be honest, that was the whole point of this blog post. I just wanted to share that song - it's taken me two hours to come up with all the rest of this. Apparently I should have just posted the link and called it a day. Anyways, the lyrics to this song sum up my life.
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Was your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
That's it! That's my life, right there. Both the mountaintop and the battleground - that's where I live. And I'm so thankful I'm not there alone.
You are faithful, God, You are faithful! Thanks be to God.