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World-Wide Symphony

For the audio version, please click below:

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. 

Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. 

Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. 

He set them in place forever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. 

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,

you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,

wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,

kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,

young men and maidens, old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted;

his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. 

He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints,

of Israel, the people close to his heart.   

Praise the Lord.

~Psalm 148

Wow, imagine worshipping the Lord with all creation!  Imagine, as it says in Isaiah 55:12, “the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” !  Maybe this is why—in The Sound of Music—Maria von Trapp (played by Julie Andrews) sings “The hills are alive with the sound of music” !  Psalm 148 sure gives a new perspective to that famous, opening scene in that classic movie, doesn’t it? 

Maria wasn’t just a misplaced nun struggling to stay within the confines of the convent.  Perhaps, as Maria sang her heart out on the lush, green hill, the hill itself was bursting into song along with her as the trees clapped their hands in exultation along with her melody.  Perhaps it was the hills themselves that motivated her to sing!  It’s no wonder her heart was bursting with joyful song as it surrounded her.  The hills had been singing the melody for a thousand years already, praising the Lord as they were created to do.  Maria was filled with a sheer joy that couldn’t be utterly expressed until she had freed it completely and fully through song.  Her spirit simply could not, would not keep it contained!

At the end of her melody, Maria is called back from her exuberant vision by the tolling of the bells that reminded her of her duties as a nun.  Yet, I believe that the song she was singing in exultant joy was warming God’s heart already—perhaps delighting God more deeply than could any show of solemn reverence or ritual offering.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although God is everywhere with us, even in the darkest alleys and ghettos, the dirty, concrete jungles, I feel His pure presence most powerfully when I’m surrounded by His natural creation, in nature.  The beauty of His creations brings such a sense of awe, a reverence for His handiwork, a reminder that He is able to do all things—for He is the creator of all things good and beautiful. 

There’s a power in nature, a beauty so powerful that it can move us to tears, fill us with gratefulness, overwhelm us with a sense of our smallness—but not one that makes us feel less than or insecure or insignificant.  Nature’s majesty fills us with a sense of our own finiteness that humbly yet gratefully acknowledges God’s “bigness.”  Being in nature takes our eyes off of ourselves and puts our focus squarely on God, His immensity and the magnificence of His beauty.

There’s something about worshipping outdoors, looking upon the vast ocean or gazing out into open fields.  Indeed, no wonder we can feel God’s presence so much more in nature!  It’s because all of nature sings His praise!  I love the psalmist’s lines saying that even the mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds—these all praise God.  So do people—young and old, women and men.  How wonderful it is to praise our Lord together with all of creation!!  Mountains, oceans, and all the creatures in them sing, jump, and shout for joy at being His beloved.

Let us join with all creation to sing Your praises, Lord, and declare that You are King, that You are bigger than all of our worries and troubles! 

And how sweet is verse 14 where it says that God has raised up for us a horn—a king, Jesus—for us—Israel, the people close to his heart.  The psalm preceding this one, 147, also talk about the nation of Israel.  The Life Application Bible footnotes make a point to say that, in Galatians 3:28-29, it says “the real nation of Israel is not a specific people or geographic place, but the community of all who believe in and obey God.”  So, we are the people close to God’s heart…Wow!

The unknown writer of Psalm 148 wrote beautifully, and the Life Application editors also wrote this lovely footnote: “All creation is like a majestic symphony or a great choir composed of many harmonious parts that together offer up songs of praise.  Each part (independent, yet part of the whole) is caught up and carried along in the swelling tides of praise.  This is a picture of how we as believers should praise God—individually, yet as part of the great choir of believers worldwide.  Are you singing your part well in the worldwide choir of praise?”

This is a perfect and crucial question for these times: Are we each singing our part in the worldwide choir of praise?  Are we playing our instrument in this global orchestra?  The question is both literal and symbolic! 

Are we praising him through the easy days and the tough ones?  Are we keeping our eyes on the Lord through it all and showing our gratefulness for His goodness?—for there is goodness even in the tough days!  This praise is more for our own sake than for God’s!  Praising God takes our eyes off of our struggles and places them on Him, the one who will fight for us and win, the one who brings hope and freedom, reminding us of His ultimate victory over our calamities.

Whether we’re singing or being an instrument for the Lord, we each have a very important part to play in God’s intricate plans for the good of all the world.  It could be musical; it could be something else. 

I want to discover my role in this grand scheme of things.  What can I contribute?  Is it time, talent, or treasure? Do I have skills or supplies or money that I can give to others for the greater good? 

What’s your role?  What tools has God given you?  What instrument has He shown you how to play?

What brings you great joy?  Where do you find your passion? Oftentimes, it will be something that you have great skill for.  God designed us that way—to find joy in the gifts and skills He gives us. 

As Frederick Buechner said:

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Ask the Lord; press into Him.  Search Him for the gifts, talents, and skills He has given you.  He will show you.  Are you a great chef?  A baker?  A candlestick maker?  Do you love to refurbish furniture?  Crunch numbers?  Pray? Fold laundry?  Does cleaning make your heart soar? Do you have a passion for crafting?  Soccer?  Delight in playing with children?  Love to make people laugh?  Are you an excellent rapper?  Then rap for the glory of the Lord!  Clean for heaven’s sake!

No deed is too small or odd to be great for the kingdom of God!  Even the smallest acts, the most obscure skills can reveal God’s love to others.  Words aren’t even necessary.  Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31), with all your heart and all your might, pointing others to Him and revealing His great love!

What treasures have you to give?  Have you been blessed with abundance?  Is your tomato garden flourishing?  Maybe you can share them with your neighbors and show them the Lord’s love!

Are you retired now and have lots of time on your hands?  Can you spend it by listening to a lonely person in the hospice?  Oh how that person would feel the Lord’s presence through you!

Let us rise up, brothers and sisters, we who are close to the Lord’s heart, for we have a key part to play in this revival and awakening, this renewed revealing of the Lord’s love that the world is famished for even though it doesn’t know it!  Things may look bleak now and even for a season, but victory is coming!!  And we each have a part in it!

Lord, we praise You individually, in our specifically designed ways!  Then, embodying a powerful synergy, our praises come together as a whole in this majestic symphony, this great choir.  What a beautiful melody we create together!  We can all praise God—literally through song—whether on key or off, on beat or off beat—but we are all praising God through what we do, how we live, as we each walk in our destinies—the fulfillment of each life purpose a key role on this worldwide stage. 

When we discover the passion that God has given us, the things He has specifically designed us to say, do, and live out, we fulfill His grand and brilliant plan.  He has intentionally and thoughtfully designed every one of us—intricate in the details of our lives, our personalities, our gifts, our spheres of influence, our ancestry, our experience, and our background.  When we carry out the passions given to us by God, revealing His love to others, our hearts are finally and fully filled.  The void and emptiness of the meaning of life is gone.  Our purpose is here.

The world’s needs are met as our hearts are fulfilled.  This is the genius of God’s grand design.  He’s given every one of us an instrument to play, a tool to use, a weapon to wield, a song to sing, a revelation to reveal, a secret to shout: a light to shine.

For in Matthew 5:14-16, it says “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Lord, show us what part of this grand symphony you have given each of us to play, and let us play it with all our hearts and all Your strength that all might see, that every single one in this world might be freed and filled with joy and be inspired to praise You with us!

More Songs For Worshipping Along With Creation

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2 Responses

  1. Hi! just listened to first blog. Hope & Freedom in time of crisis. I hear your HEART. The Sound of Music was my favorite movie. Still is. Singing taught Robin how to fly again even though I had broken wings. As I walked through trauma. I learned to rise above my physical mental emotional state of mind by singing. Like the Titanic I could not let myself sink or 3 precious gems aboard ship would go down with me. Those 3 gems were my 2 sons and 1 daughter. I thank the Lord for different individuals God sent my way to encourage me. I have learned over time to Worship and Sing Songs to my Father who is now my Husband. Psalms 139
    My husband died in Vietnam War. My children 12, 11 & 8 years old. Life is hard but God is Faithful. Depression hit hard almost unto death many times. But as you know I am still here. My assignment here on earth is not done yet. God’s Resurrection Power would pick me again and again.
    Let’s get together soon. Share our thoughts.
    Keep writing and encouraging people. There’s no hope in this world. We look forward to His Coming to take us home in Heavens which He prepared for us. In His Service, Robin

  2. Hi Robin!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I’m so encouraged that you were touched by what God inspires in this blog. How awesome to hear that He speaks to so many of us through the sound of music!–and through the movie by that name, too! LOL!

    God uses music–especially worship–to sustain and strengthen us. I’m so glad to hear of how He faithfully walked with you and sang His love over you through so much heartache and hardship. Your kids and we who know you are blessed by you, Robin! Indeed, God still has a blessed hope and future for your life! I look forward to connecting more with you. 😊

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About This Blog

Please click below for the audio version of this site description.

  In this age of crises all around---from pandemics to riots to natural disasters---it's easy to get overwhelmed by negativity. Join me in my quest for an uncircumstantial joy and liberation by sharing reflections, humor, poetry, practical strategies, and validation.  Let's find that we are not alone, encourage one another to take heart, and be set free from fears and worries! The heart of this blog is to lift our eyes off of the darkness to place our focus on the Lord---thus finding hope & freedom in the midst of crisis.

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