Sad Songs Say So Much

I was traveling, staying the night with friends in Arkansas, when I learned that another friend of ours had a newborn that wasn’t expected to live. Rachel had been born with a defective heart, and it seemed just a matter of time that she would go.

That night I couldn’t sleep, “flooding my bed with tears,” as king David wrote in the sixth psalm. With two children of my own, I could only imagine what my friend and her husband were going through, and it hurt, deeply. To express my thoughts and feelings I wrote a song. When I got back home I asked another friend to help me record the song, and I sent the recording to Rachel’s mother. Rachel died the day after they received the tape, and they played it at the funeral.

God gave us that. The ability and desire to express strong emotion—even pain—in song. I once heard a well-meaning DJ on a Christian radio station say that Christians should never be sad. I would say that he hadn’t read the Psalms. The Holy Spirit inspired David and others to write more than 65 songs pouring out their hurt and sadness to God. This is this same Spirit who “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Singing through the pain is part of our human experience. God encourages us to do just that.

That’s something to think about.

Published by Rob

I teach, therefore I am.

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