"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you." Psalm 66:1-3 (NIV)
I absolutely love music. Music was the tapestry that was woven into the background of my years in my parents' home. Everyone in my family is completely taken with the brilliance of a masterfully crafted song. All of my siblings have made their livelihoods around music, Nicol and Todd professionally, and Jack as a minister of music at his church. I sing, too, but never as a soloist in public. The thought of me getting up in front of others to sing as my siblings do makes my stomach churn and my heart race in terror.
I am completely obsessed with the song, "Bless Your Name Forevermore" on the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's newest CD, I'll Say Yes. I have listened to that song, no joke, no less than five times a day for the past month. My kids are starting to groan when we get in the minivan because I quickly scan the CD for the twelfth track and blast it through the speakers.
The song starts out quietly enough with a lovely woman's voice carrying the melody. But by the time the song gets to the chorus, there is some serious praise going on. The chorus consists of six words, "I will bless Your Name forevermore" that are repeated over and over again by a 290 voice choir with a full orchestra and drums behind the singers. It is one of those songs that I will always turn to whenever I want to be ushered into the presence of my God with singing.
I listened to this song when I was out of town earlier this month in Orlando. Rob's flight came in at a later time than mine, so I tooled around the city and popped the then brand-new CD in the rental car's stereo. As the CD got to the twelfth track, a massive thunderstorm burst upon Orlando. God put on an amazing concert for me as He added the sounds of crashing thunder as a backdrop for the song. I thought the sky was going to split wide open as the lightning cut through the black sky.
I will bless Your Name...Boom went the thunder! I will bless Your Name, Jesus...a streak of white-hot lightning...I will bless Your Name forevermore....Crash! went the thunder in response.
Over and over again the thunder and lightning emphasized the powerful words in my ears. I was filled with awe and couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my face. I kept thinking, I know Who it is they are singing about and I am witnessing His power right now in this very moment.
Am I in awe of my God? I love knowing His tender side, but do I tremble under His power? There are times when He has shown His might and I laugh with delight. But there are times when He shows His power, like that night in Orlando, and I realize how much I can reduce Him in my mind to someone just like me. He is not like me. God is not a man. He is the One that calls Himself "I Am" whom even the winds and the waves obey. Every now and then I need a reality check, when I am struck speechless in awe of His power, when I remember that His very breath will one day destroy His enemies, and when I gratefully realize how merciful He is to me.
And then I think of that day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, whether that knee or that tongue wants to praise Him or not. I want that day to be a glad reminder to these knees and this tongue of a well-developed habit started here on this earth. I don't want that day to be the first day that I truly fall before Him and worship as though it is something strange or new. May I bow my knee and speak His praise everyday.
Jesus, I bless Your Name forevermore!