I love music. I think that music playing is a background, a scene setter. Music has the power to set the tone for an evening, cheer up your soul, help you focus on a task, remember a time, or a person. Music is universal. In fact, it is a neurological process that humans connect music with memories, both good and bad. Scientists and therapists have even used music to help Alzheimer patients recall things from their past that they would not have been able to.
There is always music playing if I am around-whether it be the soft radio that stays on 24/7 in my kitchen, the five hundred (maybe not that many) bluetooth speakers scattered throughout our house, the Block Rocker on the back porch, or bumping through the speakers in my car. There are so many types of music that I love, and depending on the time of day, what we’re doing, and how I’m feeling, it could range from Essential Classical, to 70s rock and roll, to bluegrass.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that I keep my radio on Christian Music or K-Love all of the time, because that would be exactly that- a lie.
However, I do listen to it at times, and lately, every time I switch the channel to 89.7, I hear the song “Ever Be” by Aaron Shust. (I actually prefer the Bethel Music version by Kalley Heiligenthal)
The words stopped me in my tracks the other day.
“Faithful You have been and faithful you will be, You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing: Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips, Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips.”
Talk about a full-on worship service going down I-20!
I couldn’t help but think to myself, “How often is His praise truly on my lips?”
Is His praise ‘ever on my lips’?
I can’t truthfully answer that question with a yes.
Of course, His praise is on our lips when we find out our power bill was less than expected, or when we find out that our loved one is cancer-free, or maybe even when we learn that we landed our dream job.
But, is His praise on our lips when we get that unexpected medical bill that’s on its way to collections? Or when we find out that our loved one’s cancer has returned? Or when we get laid off from our job?
The answer to those questions, if you’re like me, is no.
Too often, we’re too busy applying the newest $20 shade of lipstick to our lips. Or talking ugly about that girl on Facebook that’s gained 30 lbs. Or tipping back that ‘I probably don’t need this last glass’ of wine. Or cursing at the traffic jam on our way home from work.
How can His praise be on our lips, when we’re busy thinking and doing things that are unimportant in comparison? When we’re caught red-handed in a sea of our sinfulness? And maybe even enjoying it.
The answer is this: because we are all screw-ups! We sin and fall short of the glory of God. Every. Single. Day.
If you’re like me, probably more like every hour.
But, the best part about our screw-ups is that we have a Heavenly Father who KNEW that we would be screw-ups before we were even born! Not only did he still allow us to come and take up space in His world, He sacrificed the blood of the Lamb- of His only son for you and I! So that we could come and drink too much wine, and talk ugly about others, and curse at Malfunction Junction.
The beauty of Jesus, is that he came for us at our best and at our worst. It’s our job to try to be more like Him, though. To put forth the effort and fearlessly chase after Him when we recognize we are sucking at life.
Sure, we are human. We are imperfect. We are filthy, and weary and tired. But here’s the beauty that comes at the end of the song:
“You’re making me like you, Clothing me in white; Bringing beauty from ashes, For You will have Your bride – Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame, and known by her true name and it’s why I sing….”
He is the ultimate giant eraser, ridding us of that guilt and shame, and clothing us in pure white, regardless of what we say or do. He’s calling us by our true name – redeemed, annointed, a royal priesthood, precious, loved, healed, child of God, forgiven, clean, sanctified, victorious, sealed, reconciled, new, beautiful!
And that’s why I sing, “You will be praised, You will be praised….With angels and saints, we sing worthy are you Lord!”
“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” Psalm 34:1
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.” -Psalm 71:23