This is Day 16 of 40 days of the allegorical devotional fiction, The Woman in the Wilderness.
She woke up with memories of the gossamer prince’s laughter. Somehow, she knew that he would soon have much reason to rejoice. She rose up from the ground, her clothing cleaner than it was the night before, seemingly untouched by the dirt she slept on.
His mercies are new every morning, she was once again reminded. She watched the last of the fire’s embers flicker away even as sunlight began to immerse the forest. She basked in the warmth, saying a prayer of thanks to the Father of Lights even as she rolled around the gem, the symbol of His promise, on her palm. A good and perfect gift indeed – one that came from a good Father.
Not long after she left the campfire, venturing deeper into the forest wilderness, her peace pointing her Northbound to where His kingdom was, she heard the sound of lively music filling the atmosphere.
Someone was plucking a stringed instrument somewhere ahead of her. Even as she drew closer and the music grew louder, her heart beat fast with anticipation, eager to meet more of His creatures. A baritone voice began to sing to the merry stringed tune.
He is loved by many
Though she doesn’t see
She’s quite the fool
Oh, beloved Folly
If she won’t make haste –
The song stopped as she approached a clearing in the forest that revealed a lake and a man with a lyre sitting on a rock, with his feet dangling over the waters.
Delight sparked in his eyes at the sight of her.
“You must be the woman in the wilderness!” he exclaimed. “The gossamer prince told me about you! There’ve been whispers about you, but I wasn’t sure if it was true. Oh, it’s good to see you!”
She didn’t know what to make of the merry welcome, but his delight filled her heart with cheer.
“I’m the Troubadour, and I sing new songs. Songs of joy and songs that tell His stories. There’s always a reason to sing. There’s always a reason to praise.”
She smiled at him. “It’s good to meet you.” She knelt on the ground by the pool and took a refreshing drink from the water.
He then tossed her a piece of bread after her thirst was quenched. “He would want you to have it.”
She sat down and wondered what wisdom the Troubadour would impart to her, but even as he began plucking another tune, she had to blink her eyes several times, because she was certain that this creature was made of stone.
He smiled at her. “Why so surprised, wanderer?” His smile faded away. “Did He not say that should many grow silent, even stones will cry out His praise?”
She swallowed hard, understanding fully the sadness in the song, the story, he began to play. And if only in her heart, and in a whisper, she chose to give the Lover of Souls praise.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes].
James 1:17 (AMP)
But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
Luke 19:40 (MSG)
Songs of joy and praise is necessary to get through the wilderness. There is no getting by without it. In wilderness seasons, where we are far from distractions, and we find ourselves away from sources of instant gratification, it’s easy to find reasons to grumble and complain. The wilderness, however, is meant to teach us the discipline of praising Him no matter what our circumstances look like.
To hold on to the treasure of His promises and praise Him out of faith and not by what we see is treasure in itself. All of creation was made to give Him praise. In good and in bad.
Do we praise Him? Do we praise Him in times of joy? Do we praise Him in times of sorrow? Or do we forget that He is the Father of Lights, the One Who is faithful in giving us each morning and all the new mercies that come with it? Is He not the Giver of every good and perfect gift we’ve received? Is He not perfect in all of His ways?
Is He not worthy of our praise?