Songs that drown out the Sirens

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” - Psalms 32:6-7

It blows my mind at how relevant every verse in the Bible is around two thousand years after it was written. Yet I find myself constantly finding the living words in this book speak to me in my life day after day after day. Thursday night was definitely one of the more powerful nights of my life because of the literal storm that surrounded my and hundreds of other's lives.

These two verses are amazing to me for multiple reasons. David starts this Psalm crying out to God and saying that, this action of crying out to Him, has lead to the Lord forgiving the guilt of his sins. Verses 6 and 7 start off with the word “Therefore.” David is saying that “all the faithful” need to pray to God while He can be found. In other words, “There is no better time than now.” As Christians we tend to put things off. I'll help my brother in need tomorrow, I'll give sacrificially when I have a little bit more money, I'll love my enemy once they repay to me what they've done, and I could go on and on with that list. What David is trying to say in these verses is to stop procrastinating calling out to God in your life.

David uses the word “pray” to describe what we should not put off or wait to do. What exactly does it mean to pray to God? Prayer is the simple, honest, and constant communication with God. Prayer is not the physical act of closing your eyes, folding your hands, and bowing your head. It's mentally being aware of God's presence and opening your heart to Him. You could say that a type of prayer is worship!

Worship is exactly where I was last Thursday night. A weekly worship time near Lipscomb University called Sanctuary. (See my note “Spiritual Wedgie”) Crying out to God with an open heart letting ever worry and problem be lifted off my shoulders and into God's peace giving and loving hands. You see, there was plenty of cause for worry with a storm on top of Nashville, TN and a Tornado warning in effect. David gives us this picture of mighty waters rushing and the feeling that the faithful's prayers, or worship, won't reach God. But we should all take comfort, because Thursday night I experienced what the second of these two verses is saying.

“You are my hiding place.” David is saying, “God, I'm choosing not only to be completely open to you in my circumstances and resist hiding them away, but YOU are my hiding place where I choose to find rest.” Our God is a god that we find refuge in. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Last Thursday I found myself with hundreds of other college students stuck in a building with a tornado outside, but we hadn't found strength, safety, or refuge in four walls with a roof over our head... We found refuge in a God who was greater than the “mighty waters” and rushing winds that surrounded us. I had chills running up and down my back when I saw how hundreds of college guys and girls praised God saying, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” I had chills running down my back especially during one part of that night.

It was in the middle of the worship service, and once of the tech guys ran up to talk with one of the worship leaders and show him his laptop. After the song ended, they stopped playing and one of the worship leaders said, “Hey guys, just so you know there is a tornado warning. We're gonna keep playing, but just wanted to let everyone know.” Then they started into the next song. There was a part in the next song that died down a little bit and got very quiet, and as it got quiet I could hear the tornado sirens blaring out their warning. That was a moment where the entire sanctuary of people could have started freaking out and taking cover.

I feel as if this is a point where a lot of us are at today. We've been doing a great job of following God and being a Christian. We've loved others well, read our Bibles, and attend church regularly. Then we encounter a mighty storm in our lives. We become engulfed with the chaos that is swirling around us and we begin to feel as if our prayers won't reach God. At this point in our lives I feel we have two choices. The first is to allow fear to creep in and allow our lives to be torn apart by trials, temptations, and hard times. We can allow that fear to petrify us and make us not able to move. What happens then? Well, we won't move. We'll get stuck in our struggles and hard times, and we'll fall into depression and allow ourselves to die spiritually in bondage and chains. Or.... We can choose the second option.

This second option is where I found myself last Thursday night. Tornado sirens blaring, music slowly fading...... Then all of a sudden the drums, guitar, piano, and bass rush back in at full blast! An entire room filled with hundreds of people shouting out to God with “songs of deliverance,” and drowning out the sirens. This second option is completely the opposite to the first. This option is saying to all the distractions that surround your life, “I'm choosing to cry out this second to a God who is my hiding place, my protector, and my deliverer. My cries will drown out and anxiety, worry, or doubt that might be swirling around.” This is when you get the chills up and down your back, because you start to realize that you have a God that is bigger and has overcome everything in this world.

These two verses end with a single Hebrew word, “Selah.” This word means to meditate on what was just said. It was said in worship when everyone was supposed to be silent and ponder what was just said. You see, I think David knows how powerful and how majestic the God he is talking about is. I think he understands how power of what he's just written down and he himself has to just pause and say, “How great is our God.”

After Sanctuary was over, I had a couple minute drive back to Lipscomb University. These few minutes were my “Selah.” As I pulled onto one of the side roads I couldn't believe how many branches and limbs were scattered across the road. Seeing visual proof of the chaos that swirled around the outside, but being able to be transformed by the power and beauty of God's presence on the inside.

My prayer for you all is that you can constantly be aware of God's presence in your life. I've seen it said that “Anxiety and worry come from envisioning yourself in the future without God.” So I pray that you can pray without ceasing; always keeping your heart open and being mentally aware that God is with you. I pray that you may choose the second option and not allow your fear get a hold of you, but that you may cry out in God's name to drown out any hurt pain, struggle, or trial that may be swirling around your life, in your mind, or in your heart. Finally, I pray that you can run to God as a hiding place from all outside distractions and hurt. I pray that you can not only be completely open to Him with all things and resist hiding from Him, but I pray you can let Him be your hiding place. SELAH.


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