God’s Sense of Humor

When I first became a Christian, someone told me to be careful what I pray for because for everything I wanted God to show  me, the enemy would be there to make it more challenging.

For example, if I pray to God for patience, the only way I will grow in that area is if I’m subjected to things that would normally cause me to be impatient. If I pray to be a lover of all people, I will be surrounded by unlovely people. We can’t be strengthened in an area where there are no challenges, right?

Well, this leads me to a rather embarrassing story about something I’ve prayed for. As I lay my life open here on the internet, I pray that you will see beyond the humor of what I am about to share and notice how God speaks.

If you’ve followed my earlier posts, you will notice a common thread. I’ve called all Christians to stop being judgmental or critical, and to start sharing random acts of kindness to a hurting world. I’ve prayed that I too, be less judgmental, because (let’s face it…) we all judge to some extent.

The more I pray to be loving and accepting of others, the more I am being challenged in this area.

A few weeks ago, at a Sunday church service I was sitting in front of a guy who was singing louder than me. His tone was WAY off and (despite the fact that my tone is ALSO way off), I thought, “geeez, does this guy HAVE to sing so loud?”

Stupid, right??

After about two songs, he coughed in my direction and the wind from his cough blew through my hair. I thought, “this is IT”. I grabbed my bag and moved to a different seat so that I could “enjoy” the service.

During the service, the Pastor made a request for the following weeks service. The church was having a Gospel Music celebration and he wanted to put together a choir to perform some gospel songs. I got excited and figured this would be a perfect opportunity for me to sing loudly and blend in with all the other singers. At the end of service, I met with the music director and volunteered.

Later in the week, he sent me a song list and some links to videos, “practice these songs ……… oh and this will be a mini-choir since we didn’t get many volunteers”.

I went to my husband and told him I couldn’t do it. He said, “so you’re gonna be a quitter?” He was challenging my integrity!!! Of course I won’t be a quitter. I will do this! I prayed all week, studied the songs, and felt confident. I was even proud of myself because I thought, “the enemy tried to make me quit but I am stronger than that!!” In a sense, I was laughing at the enemy because I figured I beat him at his own game.

Unknown to me, that was not God’s intentions for the lack of other singers. There was a completely different lesson to be learned.

When I got to church early for our practice, the music director came to me and gave me a microphone.

“What do I need this for, there are other people singing right?”

“Well, not really, you’re the only one who volunteered. So we have you and the 3 women who usually sing.”

So now I’m thinking I REALLY cant do this, but my husband’s words echoed in my head and I didn’t want to be a quitter. I asked the music director if he could just shut the sound off on my mic. He laughed and said NO!

There we were “the mini choir” with our own microphones, practicing the song list. I’m terrified that someone will actually hear my off-tune voice and think “how embarrassing”. At that moment, a gentleman walked up to our group and said, “wow, you ladies sound so lovely. Great job”.

THAT is when it hit me…..the lesson God intended I learn from this experience.

The man who walked up and told us how fabulous we sounded was the man who was sitting behind me in church the previous week!! He didn’t hear my out-of-tune voice, he heard songs of praise and worship. He heard past my actual voice and heard a joyful sound.

If you haven’t noticed from my past stories, God doesn’t whisper in my ear because I’m a bit stubborn and don’t hear it. He puts me in situations where I am practically hit over the head with what He wants me to hear.

God says, “you want to judge your fellow Christians, well lets put you up on a stage with a microphone so the WHOLE church can hear you sing”.

As I stood on the platform, I prayed. I repented. “Oh God, I am so sorry for judging that man, one of your children. Who am I that I would judge someone else for something I can’t even do myself.”

After the service, I had a laugh with God because He made such a strong point. He wanted me to stop judging others but the only way I was going to hear Him was to be put into a situation where I thought people would be judging me.

Isn’t God amazing and beautiful. He has a sense of humor and He loves us SO much.

The point of this story is this: Don’t judge others. Humble ourselves to hear correction from God. We each have our God given strengths and our weaknesses and none of us is perfect. But we are all Children of God.

I hope sharing this story will help convince you to accept others (faults and all) …………. and if it hasn’t, I pray that you too, end up on a stage with a microphone in your hand (all your faults on display for the world to see)… Hahaha, really just kidding (and trying to make a point)

How does God get His point across to you when He needs you to hear?

Much love and blessings to all of you! Thank you so much for stopping by, Rene’

judging others

The photo shared on this post came from this page. Thank you Filtered Flowers

Just SING

Over 30 years ago, I stood in the front row of a kindergarten performance. We were singing for all the parents at the elementary school. I wore a beautiful dress hand-made by my mother. My hair was long and styled in a curly Q, Shirley Temple sort of fashion. I felt like a princess.

During the performance, I sang “from my diaphragm” just as Mrs. Summers instructed. My heart felt as if it would pound out of my chest when the audience applauded our performance. Since I was in the front row, it was as though everyone were clapping just for me.

At the end of the performance, Mrs. Summers spoke words that would impact me for nearly a lifetime. She walked up to my mom and said, “she certainly is the most excited and eager student I had this year, but she couldn’t carry a tune in her pocket (hahaha)”. Most certainly she was just making a joke, but those words hurt me.

From that day on, I was insecure about my singing. It became a source of embarrassment and I didn’t want anyone to hear me. When I was home alone though, I would belt out songs as if I was on stage. It made my heart dance and my soul felt alive.

Years later when I began attending church regularly, I found a place of comfort where I could sing freely. One morning a woman asked why I didn’t join the choir. She said I had a beautiful singing voice and sang from my heart. I gave a little chuckle and told her  I KNEW I wasn’t choir material. With a look of surprise, she simply suggested I pray about it because I would be a nice addition to the choir.

That night I prayed and God began to show me how those words from my childhood found a home in my heart. He showed me that, even though the words didn’t play in my mind, the feeling from them came to surface each time I sang.

With the new revelation about why I had a hard time singing in front of others, I began to do some research. What did science say about singing? What did the bible say?

Professor Graham Welch from the University of London studied the health benefits of music and singing for over 30 years. His findings suggested that singing was good for the heart and lungs because it was an aerobic exercise. In addition, he said that singing reduced stress and increased our emotional well-being because it increases the “feel-good” hormones called endorphins.

When I went to my bible I found this scripture…..

Psalm 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; skillfully (on the strings) with a loud and joyful sound”.

Science was saying that singing was good for me, and my bible was saying I should be singing loud and joyfully!! I cant even tell you how excited this made me feel!

I made a decision to stop believing the lie that had been rooted in my heart for so many years.  The following week, I joined the choir at church, singing talent or not, and I began to feel better. Slowly, I started singing in other places.

Now I sing in the streets, I sing in the gym, I sing while I lay outside tanning, and I sing while I drive. It doesn’t matter if I can carry a tune in my pocket or anywhere else, I carry it on my heart. Singing brings me so much joy. When I see someone else singing, I smile because I know I see a happy person.

What is the point of this story? Words (as innocent as they may be) can be spoken over us and they can hurt us, mold us, cause us to believe untruths about ourselves. We need to go to God’s word and believe what the bible says, not what our insecurities say.

Maybe you are insecure about something and you don’t know why. Maybe words were innocently spoken over you that hurt you. Maybe the enemy is just whispering words meant to steal your peace.

Go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal truth to you.

Love yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy every part of you. Your heart and your spirit will thank you.

References:

http://heartresearch.org.uk/fundraising/singing-good-you