Today I am thankful for singing.

Whether it’s muffled behind a mask or shameless in the shower, there are few ways to draw more emotion out of a person than with a well-written, sincerely sung song. Likewise I don’t know of a better “free” therapy one can give to self than to sing. There’s also no better way to build on a happy moment than to punctuate it with a song. In fact, it’s a medicine the Bible specifically prescribes…

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

(James 5:13)

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a draining year, full of forlornness and bitterness by many. I too admit to being carried away with negativity this year, but what helps me to refocus my mind to positive things is, ironically, thinking of the Devil. I’m happy to blame the troubles of 2020 on him, and then tell myself that I will not encourage the Devil one second longer by remaining discouraged.

Now if you’ll permit me a pre-Thanksgiving Christmas application…

The Grinch had stole Christmas, or so so he had thought;
he took all the presents, from every Who-tot.
He climbed to the peak, of his mountain to hear,
what he thought would be sadness, but instead there was cheer.
Rather than crying, the Whos came to the site,
of the place where their tree, had been taken last night.
And from his mountain-top view, the Grinch heard a new call;
Not pining or griping, but merriment all.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. My wife loves it when I start speaking in rhyme, just ask her!

The point is, the Grinch tried his best to ruin the reason the Whos of Whoville had to be happy, but they had a reason that couldn’t be stolen; an internal—dare I say, spiritual—reason for cheer. So what did they do, when faced with a loss? They sang, refusing to allow their circumstances to deprive them of their joy.

The Devil has tried his best to steal 2020 from us. He’s thrown everything and the kitchen sink at us this year. And you know what, maybe the Devil has stolen our 2020. He’s certainly succeeded in disrupting many of our plans. He’s certainly caused many of us to change, not for the better, but for the worse, and to implement policies that will adversely affect us—both the world and the kingdom—for years to come. So okay, let’s say he has stolen our 2020. What then?

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m going to sing.

I’m going to sing because I refuse to do what the Devil wants. He wants me to give up. He wants me sad, defeated, bitter. But I intend to draw closer to Christ, not farther. I intend to read my Bible more, not less. I intend to sing louder, not softer.

I am thankful for singing, not only as a reaction to happiness, but as a spark to light the fire of joy itself.

~ Matthew