I remember that day well. I was standing in my kitchen preparing supper when the phone rang. It had been a full day of intense ministry. We were in the middle of a potential church split and I was a broken leader. Here the pressure was on, would I fail as a leader, or the women who would follow me if this all fell apart? Was I a failure already because this thing was not getting better, but worse? All of these pressures were resting heavy on my heart when I picked up that phone that evening. On the other end was a voice screaming profanities to me and reaffirming my already unhealthy thought process. “Your are a horrible Pastor.” “You did not…..” And many other cruel remarks.
There I stood with the phone about a foot and a half from my ear and every word was going in and piercing my heart deeper and deeper. What had I gotten myself into? All I had wanted to do was help people and here I was failing them over and over again. The worst part was that the very things I was being accused of were not even the truth, but how do you defend yourself in a one way conversation where someone is convinced you are at fault? You can’t. You simply must let them speak and trust your heart to the Lord.
When the conversation was over, I went and sat on my rocking chair, almost numb from the events of the past several months, and of the past ten minutes. The tears began to fall and in that moment I will never forget what the Lord said to me.
He did not say, “Daughter, you have this all right and they are wrong.” He did not say, “ That was awful what they did to you.” No, He simply said to me, “Sing me a song.”
As crazy as that sounds, that was what He wanted from me in a deep moment of pain.
You see, I could in that moment feel very justified to respond carnally, and to do what everyone might call the natural thing to do, but I am not called to do what everyone else is doing.You and I are called to a higher road. Sometimes that road doesn’t make sense, but the fruit of choosing that road will indeed change your life.
So, with tears streaming down my face that day in my brokenness I offered God a song. It was a song in the night, my night. A song that I could sing because like this psalmist, I knew His steadfast and loyal love that had been commanded by day in my life. This was a time of testing my heart to see if I could lean upon God’s faithfulness when my heart was screaming for defense. The psalmist knew misunderstanding, pain, and the echoing voice of his enemies. I knew them too that day, but I learned something that I have never forgotten, the song offered in the night is a reflection of mercies received in the day. My offering of this song at His request was evidence that I was His and that song became my deliverance.
All of my reasons to need justification were gone as my broken life was receiving Holy Spirit therapy and releasing forgiveness through my night song. A moment of enemy assault had become a sacrifice on the altar of God. My heart became fixed and gratitude rose from the ashes.
Today I am thankful that my circumstances do not have to be ideal for gratitude to prevail. I am grateful that God’s loyal love is commanded to my life in the seasons of blessing in order that gratitude can be released even in the darkest moments of pain. Maybe these moments of gratitude become a fragrant offering to the One who is worthy. He takes our broken lives and creates beauty. How awesome is that. My heart gives thanks for that season for without it I may never know the value of my song.