I love the old and traditional Baptist hymns. There is something soothing and reverant about them, and with each praising lyric, I feel that I am singing directly to God. Casey and I are in the choir at our church, and sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the beauty of the songs. Some are so sad that they make me cry right in the middle of a service, while others make me want to go out and shout the Gospel to everyone that I see (which, I should be doing anyway). Nothing can bring about such emotion, as a song with powerful lyrics and a stunning tune.
Our music pastor is a pretty talented guy. He can sing as low as our lowest man, and as high as our highest woman. He knows just what songs to add to fit the service, arrange a song to suit a theme, and even write his own songs when he has a mind to. When God was giving out all of the different types of musical gifts, he gave this gentleman the package deal! As a matter of fact, there are several musicians in our congregation that have amazing abilities. There is a young woman who sounds like a Disney princess, another who reminds me of Charlotte Church, and several others who could rival many of the professional singers that I have heard. One of our young men can play a piano like Liberace, and many more play a variety of instruments.
That brings me to the newest subject that we are studying in our homeschool. Listening to these songs, and getting swallowed up by their stories, got me thinking. Where do these song writers get their inspiration? What horrible things have happened to them? It amazes me and gives me great hope that people are able to walk in God’s Grace, both while enduring not only great pain, but great blessings as well. Such gifts can only be Heaven sent. So, in addition to singing hymns everyday during our studies, I decided to find out why they were written…….and even though I didn’t know where I was going to start, God intervened, which He has a habit of doing, and walked me right to a book that would help us on our way. In the middle of a thrift store, there lay a copy of Amazing Grace, 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Gosh, I love how God always gives us exactly what we need!
Finally, I know what these men and women were thinking when they wrote my all-time favorite hymns. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, When We All Get to Heaven, Blessed Assurance, The Old Rugged Cross, and Bringing in the Sheaves. Sadly, some are so sorrowful that I can not help but be forever changed now that I know the reasonings behind them, while others give me such peace, knowing that if others can Praise God through every conceivable circumstance, than I can too.
Although my true medium of praise is through my brush and paints, I humbly raise my voice in song to honor the God who created me and the Savior who saved me.