Daily Devotions are published Tuesday-Saturday during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers (and sisters) whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Music is my go-to when I need a lift. The lyricists and hymn writers always express my feelings better than I can, so I just sing along. During this stressful time, I recall those lines which bring me comfort, joy, and peace. Growing up on a farm in the Depression/WWII era, we sang:
- Look for the Silver Lining, whenever clouds are drifting above. Remember, somewhere the sun is shining . . .
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow . . . bluebirds fly.
- Though April Showers may come your way, they bring the flowers that bloom in May.
- Get your coat and get your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep, just direct your feet to The Sunny Side of the Street.
- You gotta Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive, e-lim-in-ate the negative, latch onto the affirmative . . .
You get the picture. I credit my mother for my optimistic outlook. In spite of caring for my invalid grandmother, milking the cow, cooking hearty meals from scratch on a wood stove, killing a chicken on Saturday so Sunday dinner after church would be special, and playing pump organ in our little Presbyterian church, she felt it was essential to teach us kids to play the piano, which her family had brought with them to America from England in 1907.
Do you know dementia patients retain the ability to sing along while losing other strengths? I like country, show tunes, gospel, classical, you name it…it all energizes or soothes. Hymns especially remind me to:
- Count Your Blessings, name them one by one, and it may surprise you what the Lord has done.
- A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing…and though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
- Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, It is Well With My Soul.
- And my favorite, Great is Thy Faithfulness…morning by morning new mercies I see. . .
- So, “through all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing. It sounds an echo in my soul. How Can I Keep from Singing?
Try singing along today, for “We don’t know what’s coming tomorrow, maybe it’s trouble and sorrow, but we travel along, singing a song, Side by Side.”
Dear God, Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee, God of Glory, Lord of love. Thank you for the cheery songs of the birds, and for gifting composers, voices, poets, producers, orchestras, and choirs. May we be reminded of our blessings every day, especially when the news strikes such a minor chord. Alleluia, Amen.