We found my hymnal. I’ve been looking for it for the last two years. I guess it was in one of the boxes that went into storage when we downsized for the last two years, and now that we’re finally opening all the boxes in our new house, we found it. We also have our piano back after two years of storing it. It’s days like these that I wish I’d listened to my mother and really practiced the piano instead of just sort of practicing. She told me I’d feel that way one day, and she was right.
This hymnal has been a great help for years, and I’m glad to find it again. These have been the go-to songs for me since childhood, treasures that help me remember timeless truths that focus my eyes on my God and Savior, especially at times when I feel adrift or lonely. Tell me you can keep a self-centered pity party going while singing “Jesus Paid it All.” Certainly after singing the first three verses, once you get to the fourth verse and sing these words, “And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, ‘Jesus died my soul to save,” my lips shall still repeat. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow,” you just see if tears that started out self-pitying and self-centered don’t melt into tears of repentance and joy and just awe with a renewed focus on what truly matters in life and in death.
I love that with the church we have been attending since we moved here my children will learn and sing and hear the voices of the saints in the aisles around us sing together a beautiful mix of rich hymns and also a solid mix of the rich new hymns that are being written by people like the Gettys and Sovereign Grace and people like that. What a rich heritage good music that sings the deep things of the gospel gives us to lean on when our hearts are heavy and when they are joyful and all the times in between. I wonder if anyone is going to put together a new hymnal with some of those good newer songs. I would like that a lot. I have complained a great deal in the past about how shallow so much of the newer praise choruses are, but one thing I’m very thankful about having gotten the privilege of worshiping with Parkside Church last year while we lived in Cleveland was being introduced to the wealth of actually good new music is being written. I truly did not know. I had not heard much of it before then. So it’s a joy to find a church here that also sings those songs I’ve grown to love and so many of the timeless old hymns as well. Serious, thoughtful, doctrinally deep preaching of the Bible and music that focuses our attention on the gospel are so refreshing to start the week and encourage us in the faith.
Yesterday we sang “Amazing Grace,” and the verse that stuck out to me where I am right now was this one, “The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.” I almost put those words out as a status update, but I didn’t because out of context I know so many people who would take it the wrong way, with a shallow view of the Lord promising good to me, and I just don’t want to convey that. It’s not talking about worldly riches, but eternal life, and that is real hope. Jesus, the anchor for my soul. I am thankful. So very thankful.