Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and find yourself singing it to yourself at odd times? This happens to me frequently. For the past week or so it has been Matt Redman’s “Ten Thousand Reasons.” If you have never heard it, I encourage you to find it on YouTube as it is a beautiful song. Beware though—it might get stuck in your head too. I find myself singing it when I awake in the night time and early morning. Specifically, this verse is resonating with my soul at this time.
“The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes”
It was especially poignant one morning when I awoke to the full moon setting over the mountains and the sun lighting up the sky in oranges and pinks. It was glorious and felt like such a sacred moment. The presence of God was palpable in the air and I was just struck with the beauty of creation. The scene kept changing, with each moment becoming more beautiful as the sun came up. It felt like a “new day dawning.”
We have all had moments like this I am sure. It is easy to sing God’s praise when we are surrounded by beauty and wonder. But the next lines say “Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me…” Really? Does this mean I need to let go and let God be in control? That I need to sing this song in the time of pain and suffering just as loud as I sing it when all is right with the world? This is so much harder. To thank God when the “evening comes.” Not just the literal evening but the darkness that can feel overwhelming—when God feels so far away and we are scared and lonely. When we are placed in a situation we don’t like—a negative medical diagnosis, a divorce, a job lost. We usually feel the air knock out of us at times like this, like we don’t even know how to take the next breath much less sing anyone’s praises.
Yet, even in times that seem the darkest, we are invited to sing God’s praises. Maybe in doing so we will be able to remember the good times as well. The psalmists follow this pattern, lamenting for a while but always ending with blessing the Lord. God knows our pain, travels with us through it and knows us deeper than anyone can. God calls each of us beloved. When the dark times come—and they will—we can join our voices to others in our community or, if unable to sing, can let them sing for us. Singing praises helps to lift our spirits and to remind us that this too shall pass. I invite you to try it the next time evening descends upon your life. It might help you to feel less alone.