A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon. I had never actually been there before (only flown over it several times), and the whole experience was above and beyond my expectations! I was simply overtaken with awe and wonder at the majesty and grandeur of this magnificent work of art which our Heavenly Father made for us to enjoy!
The verses in Psalm 95:1-5 came to me. They read, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.” (NKJV)
The Grand Canyon, which is one mile deep, certainly demonstrates the height of the hills and the deep places of the earth. We also read that His hands formed the dry land; He also made the sea. Even if God used the erosion process from the mighty Colorado River to design the gorgeous colored rock formations, it was His hands that guided the flow of the river!
This passage speaks about singing before the Lord and coming before His presence with thanksgiving, joyfully shouting to Him with psalms! Did you know that God loves to hear our praises? He is the greatest example of someone singing to the ones He loves. The prophet Zephaniah writes, “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17, NKJV)
If God rejoices over us, His children, with singing and gladness, shouldn’t we do the same in worship back to Him? We have so much to be thankful for, even when we experience sorrow and suffering. We know that He will ultimately never give us anything to endure that is not for our good and that in the end we will come through each trial in victory! This alone is something to shout and sing about!
Did you know that for years researchers have studied why and how music has such an enormous effect on people? They have concluded that one of the most amazing properties of music is that it can reach parts of the brain and evoke memories that speech simply can’t reach! This is the reason therapists often use music from a patient’s past to connect with them, often bringing dementia patients and stroke victims into the present through hearing a song and enabling them to connect with reality and speak again. The reason for this is that a different part of the brain is used in singing and making music than in normal speech. That is why many people who have a stuttering problem can sing words with no difficulty!
Music has been found to boost athletic performance, help with science and mathematics skills, soothe and heal injuries, help depression, autism, and Alzheimer’s, as well as increase academic performance in general. Don’t you think our Heavenly Father, the great God of the Universe, knew there was a certain compartment in our brains that only music could fill? Shouldn’t we be using this beautiful gift He gave us to give back to Him in praise and worship? After all, the primary reason why we were created is to give praise and glory to our Creator! Our fellowship with Him will last throughout Eternity, so don’t you think it’s time we started using the gift of music He gave us? Even if you don’t feel you have much musical ability; even if you don’t think you can hardly carry a tune; even if you don’t play a musical instrument, start in your own way to worship Him! Try singing some of the Psalms or praise songs, or just worship Him with your own words! You’ll be amazed at the uplifting effects! Put on a praise CD and sing along if you are feeling down in the dumps; try singing along to some upbeat tunes as you do your housework or drive through freeway traffic; beautiful soothing worship music can help you unwind at day’s end and heal your troubled heart, helping you get to sleep faster.
We don’t need to know why music has such power in order to benefit from it. Although it may remain an amazing and wondrous mystery, I believe God gave music to us, in the same way He formed the majestic Grand Canyon, for our enjoyment! A great musician once remarked, “I believe one of the main purposes in God giving us music is to teach the spiritual principle of unity and oneness. In a choir, band, or orchestra, each works in perfect harmony for a common goal.” I agree! Each time I have been a part of a musical group, the feeling of oneness during the performance has been exhilarating. Could this experience give us glimpses into the spiritual unity of Heaven?
Some of today’s music, sadly, does not bring peace, nor does it edify; neither does it bring unity or sound harmonious. Some music may sound more like tuning up part of a symphony orchestra, rather than of the symphony! Great anthems and hymns of the Church, along with more contemporary praise and worship music that glorifies God, can bring a person into His presence like nothing else! I challenge you to begin making music to the Lord in any way that you can….He loves to hear your praises!