“O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His Right hand and holy arm have gotten him victory.” Psalm 98:1
We are in the month of December. It is the season we celebrate Christmas. It has also been a rather interesting year. There is a messiness about life right now. We have to wear masks; we don’t have to wear masks. We need to stay home; we don’t need to stay home. We try to go shopping and everything on our lists have either been picked over or are all gone. We order what we need online, and shipping dates are for next month when we need it next week. We try to stay on top of our chores and work calls and we need to work extra shifts because everyone has either called out or didn’t bother to show up. People are resigning from work in record numbers. Businesses are hiring but no one is applying. Everything is topsy turvy and upside down and none of it makes any sense.
And…as I sit at my computer writing this to you…I am, like you trying to make sense of all we have been through. I also can’t help but wonder about what the Psalmist encourages us to do: Sing! I wonder…what music should represent life right now? I honestly can’t figure it out. Maybe the song hasn’t been written yet. Maybe it is a new musical style that hasn’t been invented that will give sound and voice to all that we have experienced these past 22 months. Maybe. Or maybe not…
Many years ago, Neil Diamond wrote a song entitled Beautiful Noise. It was about the sounds of the city and how the cacophony all put together made beautiful music. The song always reminds me that our lives… while they may seem at times to be no more than a mess… when we step back and view all the events as one cohesive whole…. they are in reality beautiful. There is the dance that goes on between a husband and wife that is at times like a symphony floating along like a cloud with everything in perfect harmony or sometimes it is the goofiness of a polka… there are times when life is a lot like jazz…the discordant and syncopated notes forcing their rhythms into your soul or you may be experiencing the sorrowful sounds of the blues…as it weaves its melancholy tunes into the fabric of your life and relationships. There are the rock and roll times of life…hard driving and intense or maybe you are experiencing the playful innocence of a nursery rhyme. All these musical notes and styles plus many more… when they are all put together make life beautiful.
So, here is what I do know. Life is messy. It always has been. We will always have something we are dealing with, something to overcome. And we will overcome. How do I know this? Because long ago on a dark Christmas night the light of hope came into this world. Jesus was born. And it is because God chose to become human…to be incarnate in this world…to live like us…we have so much hope. Hope that sings a song of life to us when we think we can’t take one more thing.
Here is one more thing I know: when we hit those discordant notes…God wants us to turn to him, to lean on him. Scripture tells us that God is a very present help in time of trouble, a very present help right smack dab in the middle of the messiness of life sour notes and all. Turning to God and orienting our hearts toward God opens the door for God to work in our lives on our behalf. We want so badly to be in control, but the problem is we can’t see what’s up ahead. God, however, can see everything. When we let “Jesus take the wheel,” we allow God to build our faith which strengthens us for life’s journey and the song we make as we travel along the days and weeks of our life, will be beautiful indeed.
By the way…if you would like to listen to Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, here is a link to listen to it: