Did you ever wonder why a song showed up in your head randomly? Maybe, like me, you awoke with an oldie from your teenage years when you listened to music from the top 40. Or perhaps you started humming a tune and spent half the day trying to figure out the words to the song. My friend’s grandmother, who had a major stroke, could not say “yes” or “no” but could sing ”Amazing Grace” from start to finish. What is happening?
Music, particularly music with words, is remembered in a different way than speech or what we read as prose. This is because music uses both sides of the brain. The left hemisphere decodes speech and its content. The right hemisphere decodes the music, including melody, harmony, and rhythm. Because the music is decoded simultaneously on both sides of the brain, it can be accessed even if one side is damaged or is inoperative for some reason. Each side can strengthen the other for random access.
This is important to you because the music you have in your memory core can influence you as you remember it – the positive messages as well as the negative messages.
How important is musical praise in your life?
It says in Isaiah 42:21, “…the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” Here is our job description, our purpose in a nutshell. Yes, we can praise God with our words and our obedience, but songs are a significant way to communicate our praise, thanksgiving, worship, and love to Him. Obviously, prolific songwriter King David knew this to be true!
You can use a song to transform your daily life from merely going through the motions to conducting a powerful conversation between you and God. Psalm 59:16a says to start the day with something even better than a good breakfast! “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love.” Can you imagine a stressless morning getting the family off to school, work, etc., because you sing to yourself while readying the troops?
As major influencers of the next generation, women can set a standard for how family members will learn to praise through music. Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” I have witnessed very young children singing their favorite movie music. What about favorite songs about God?
Living a life of praise is supposed to be as regular as any other habit. Ephesians 5:19 says, “As you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.”
God can commune with you while you work. Psalm 147:1 declares, “How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” To avoid having family members or co-workers wonder what has happened to you, you can always hum a tune.
I have often heard this excuse as to why someone doesn’t sing praise: “I can’t hold a tune in a bucket!” Yet Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” I reason that if trees praise God (it says so in 1 Chronicles 16:33) just by being trees, if dolphins praise God just by being what God created them to be, then we should praise God, especially because we have a soul and a spirit that can go beyond our mere physical existence.
Don’t feel like praising? During trouble, the strongest testimony you have as a Christian woman is to live your life by faith. Psalm 32:7 promises, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
I heard a testimony of a young teenage girl who experienced open racial discrimination at school and whose dad was dying slowly from disease. She came home from school most days feeling like a worn-out, defeated nobody. But she would sit at the piano and begin playing chords she knew. Sometimes, she would remember a song from church and begin singing it to the Lord. Sometimes, just like David, she just sang from her heart what was happening. By dinnertime, her transformation was evident to her family. It was a witness to them, a living testimony of her closeness to God.
Pull out your mental “songbook” so you can regularly and deliberately alter your outlook through a special song for the day. It’s as natural to all of creation as taking a breath.
Woman of God, watch your 24/7 change as you minister your anthem of the day!