‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, but how?

Written by Laura Smith
Published on August 04, 2020

What are you hoping for? That your kids will go back to school? That they’ll stay home? Do online learning? Be homeschooled? That you’ll go back to the office? That you’ll keep working from home? That a situation is more inclusive, a law is passed, a vaccine is created?


It seems each day I get another email with a different scenario for the fall and see a different article or theory highlighting different pros and cons of what it could or should look like. 

Maybe things will go like this. 

Or perhaps like that. 

Maybe this is the plan. 

Oops, not really. It will actually be different. 


Am I the only one who feels like they’re spinning in circles?


There is good news. We have something to tether us, anchor us—not only to a place of solid ground, but to a perch of peace in these uncertain, shifting times. It’s super accessible, totally free, and has been around for-ever. Well, it’s actually not a thing. It’s Jesus. The Rock of Ages. He tells us if we build our lives on Him that we can stand up to the most torrential storms and the fiercest of winds. (Matthew 7:24-25). But sometimes when that gale is blowing through our lives it’s challenging to shift our focus from the lightning and hail and the where-in-the-world we might have put our umbrellas to our Prince of Peace waiting to take our hands.


There is a cool tool that’s been around for centuries that can help us flip our focus from the crazy back to Christ. It’s singing. The Bible tells us to sing hymns, songs, and spiritual songs in both Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19. King David instructs us to “Sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord, all the earth!” (Psalm 96:1).


Why? Why are we supposed to sing? Because it switches our brains from thoughts of worry, frustration, judgment and anger to thoughts of our holy, powerful, sovereign Savior and how much He loves us.


Any song to the Lord is a good song—but there is a special richness in the hymns. So many of them are pulled straight from scripture. Singing these songs is often proclaiming the living Word of God out loud, letting it saturate our souls, and really sink into our hearts.


For example, the hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less,” comes from the passage in Matthew 7:24-25 we were just talking about.

Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house; it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” —Matthew 7:24-25 

This hymn is so relevant right now. With COVID-19, racism, and political unrest, we can declare, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace.” Yes, please. I want to avoid the sinking sand and rest on Christ’s amazing, steadfast grace.


When we’re worried about what will be open or closed, how things might look, we can declare the lyrics from the hymn “It is Well,” “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.” Okay. Exhale. No matter what the new plan looks like, it will be okay. It will be well with my soul, because Jesus is with us in this.


When neighbors and friends on social media hurl insults at one group or another we can declare, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” reminding us we have a friend we can depend on. One who will listen to all our thoughts and share our sorrows and never ever leave us. 


When the world feels like one hot mess and we want our kids to understand that God made everyone in His image, we can sing the African American spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The whole world. That means everyone. All of us. Yup. You and me, sister.


And when we wonder how we, just one parent, in our home with our mess and our kids and our dishes and our laundry can make any kind of difference in all this topsy-turvy we can sing, “This Little Light of Mine.” And declare over all the icky and ugly things, “I’m gonna let it shine.” This spiritual empowers us and our children to make a difference right here, right now, in our own space, in our own neighborhoods. “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let is shine! Everywhere I go. I’m gonna let it shine.” 


Most of these hymns have simple refrains that are easy to remember. As we’re driving to pick up groceries or chopping veggies we can play a hymn playlist like this one and chat with our kids about the truths packed into these songs–truths they can cling to as their school year, sports season, club, or lessons are up in the air and different than how they might have hoped. Find versions you and your kids enjoy, renditions you want to sing along to—whether that’s more traditional recordings or some new takes on old classics like those put out by modern worship bands. Hillsong, Elevation, Shane & Shane, Lauren Daigle, and Josh Garrels all have some great renditions of hymns.


If we play these songs while we’re going for a walk or jog or taking a shower their truths will sink in deep, protecting us like armor against the turmoil and uncertainty of our world and helping us be more peaceful, grounded, and Christ-centered parents. 


When the uncertainty sweeps in, we can stand rock solid on Jesus. We can let our lights shine. We can be assured that the God of the Universe is strong, powerful, loving, and on our side. If we listen to hymns as we go about our days, their lyrics packed with Christ’s promises will be on the tips of our tongues. Don’t be surprised if you hear your kiddos singing along. These truths will be easier for us and our children to access, because we’ll have placed them in our hearts.

Live perfectly imperfect

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Laura Smith

Laura L. Smith is the author of multiple books including the best-selling How Sweet the Sound: the Power and Promise of 30 Beloved Hymns. Smith speaks around the country sharing the love of Christ at conferences and events. She lives in the picturesque college town of Oxford, Ohio, with her husband and four kids. There you’ll find her running the wooded trails, strolling the brick streets, teaching Bible study, shopping at the Saturday morning farmer’s market, or going on a sunset walk with her family. You can pre-order Laura’s new book Restore My Soul: The Power and Promise of 30 Psalms here. Learn more about her at her www.laurasmithauthor.com  and https://www.instagram.com/laurasmithauthor/


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