Then Sings My Soul

Recently I have been meditating upon songs of worship that have engendered special inspiration and/or expression in my experience over the years.  I am specifically focusing on songs that have come to life in and during congregational singing.  My first thought was, “this will be easy, because there are so many.”  My second thought was, “this is hard, because there are so many.”

The year was 1979.  Our church’s youth group had just returned from mission trip to a small farming community in Iowa.  In those days I wore the dreaded title of Minister of Music & Youth.

The group I took to Iowa was made up primarily of younger students.  It was just one of those years when we had more seventh and eighth graders than juniors and seniors.  The voice maturity deficit was evident when we sang, but they did the best they could.  God surprised us in numerous ways during the trip.  Through these middle and high school students He had spoken to a farmer, two mothers, tens of children, and one college football player who “just happened to be staying on the campus” where our group was housed.

The first amazing moment of the trip occurred when some of our young girls did not return to the church building in time for the start of revival services.  We sent out adults to find them.  Halfway through the service I heard commotion outside the doublewide trailer church.  I was panicked when I heard crying, and visions of wounded children danced in my head.  Oh me of little faith.

I interrupted the service to ask an adult to check on things.  Moments later the back door to the trailer opened and in burst four girls still crying and escorting a young farmer’s wife and mother of three.  “She’s saved!”  “She’s saved!” one of the girls kept exclaiming.  After hearing the story from the mouths of babes, a story confirmed by the young mother, we paused and sang praise and thanksgiving, “How Great Thou Art.”  The acoustics of that doublewide trailer provided by the Home Mission Board were dead as a doornail, but sounded like St. Martin in the Fields that night as those kids joined church members in celebrating the salvation of one their neighbors.  The music was glorious.  It seemed that every refrain provided a deeper and more emphatic expression of that phrase, “then sings my soul my Savior, God to Thee.”  My soul was ignited to sing because I had seen the salvation of the Lord.

During the remainder of that trip we saw the Lord work over and over in miraculous ways.  After we returned to our home church the next week I received word that the football player who ate in the cafeteria with us each day had located the college chaplain after we left and  had prayed to receive Christ.

At our Missouri church, during the sharing service when these very young students told their stories of the Spirit at work, there were many tears of joy shed.  Our rejoicing culminated in an ending song that exclaimed our shared praise expressed to the Lord Himself from hearts overflowing with thanksgiving and praise.  I was so full personally that it was difficult to maintain composure, but I kept going and could not help but see in my mind’s eye those brothers and sisters in Iowa tearfully expressing the same song right along with us.  Surely God was pleased with the heart expressions of two congregations gathered in two different places having shared the blessings of God.  To this day, when I remember, I cannot help but resurrect the song in my heart.

Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

In this season of remembrance and reflection, may your soul sing of His greatness.

Paul

Explore posts in the same categories: Choir Ministry, Church Music, Leading Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

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