Last night, my daughter Annabelle was having a hard time falling asleep. She was restless and fussy and just wouldn’t surrender to her bed. We tried to let her get there on her own but after a little while, I decided to go to her. I picked her up out of her bed, placed her beloved blankie on my shoulder and she laid her sweet head down. I patted her for a bit but she was still upset so, like so many mothers from the beginning of time to now, I sang her a lullaby.
I bounced and patted her as I sang, designating my whole body as the rhythm section while my voice made the melody. She cuddled into me, her Mamma and the lullaby all at the same time. The music filled her room with soft, sleepy sounds and every word hung on her eyelids like notes on staff paper. Slowly but surely, the music worked like magic and had overpowered her cries.
As I sang to her, rocking back and forth, enjoying the weight of her little body in my arms, my heart felt such peace and joy. The lullaby was working on me too. I pondered this realization for a moment and thought it might have been because of the words I was singing.
Annabelle as a 4lb newborn. Photo Credit: Melissa Yocum Photography
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.”
Over and over I had been singing about Jesus. The songs had flowed out by rote, the same songs I always sing to my kids. Songs about his grace and beauty. About His blood and how “it washes white as snow”. Songs that weren’t written by me but by King David himself, about the Lord as our shepherd, about dwelling in His house forever. I had been worshiping on purpose and that was where the power had been.
Like a lullaby, worship has the power to quiet the restless places within, to bring peace and comfort, to turn our cries into contentment. When we worship, we are turning our eyes away from our struggle and putting them on the perfection and grace of God. We are deciding to leave the place of restlessness behind and to allow His love to envelope us like a mother does her child and there, in His arms we rest.
Worship is a lullaby for the soul.
Maybe like Annabelle, you feel like you’re in a dark room, alone, and fighting for rest. Maybe you feel like all you can do is cry because you can’t turn your mind off, you can’t make your eyes look away from your problems. Maybe you feel trapped behind your circumstances like a baby behind the bars of a crib.
It’s time for you to sing a lullaby.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!” Psalm 43:5 (NLT)
I know that singing might be last thing on your mind but like a lullaby, worship might be the only thing that soothes your troubled soul. When we’re tired and discouraged and frustrated, when speaking of the good things of God doesn’t come easily and we feel abandoned in a room to cry ourselves to sleep, those are the times that we need worship the most.
It’s in those dark hours that we have to decide to lead our souls, our minds, and our hearts to the rocking chair where God is waiting. We have to remind ourselves that no matter what our circumstances say, His blood speaks of better things and His promises don’t burn out. It’s in those moments where we begin to tell Him of His goodness, to thank Him for His love, to gaze upon His beauty that we find freedom from our problems.
And like a baby laying her head on her mother’s shoulder, our soul surrenders to the lullaby.
Like a lullaby, worship has the power to distract and refocus. It triggers something within us that reminds us that when we are in God’s presence, it’s time to rest. Under the mesmerizing melody of praise, our soul can’t help but be overcome by the goodness of the Lord. Like sleep crowding out the worries of the day, the realization of who He is pushes against the struggles we’re facing. When we worship, we are choosing to talk about how good he is instead of how bad everything else is and suddenly, the things of earth do grow strangely dim as his glory and grace glow like a nightlight, leading us to peace and rest.
Even in the dark of night, He is unchanged and worthy of our praises so sing your soul to sleep with a song of the goodness of your God.
Photo Credit: Melissa Yocum Photography