Sing a New Song | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2013

Sing a New Song

By: Emily Echols

The rhythm of being a pastor in a small town is much different from being an Army chaplain. My husband, Steve, and I are both struggling to learn the new song that God is teaching us. We dance around, bumping into one another, stepping on each other’s toes. Steve gets home much later in the evening and his schedule isn’t as flexible as it used to be. I have more social engagements but I’m still trying to work out childcare so I spend entire events feeding our son, Gabe, Cheerios. Soon Steve leaves to go to the field for two weeks. I have no idea how that part of the song is going to sound for me. I’m already afraid that it will be flat.

Out of all the songs I miss, I miss our little church the most. The little church where we knew everyone, where I could hand Gabe off to anyone and not worry that he was safe and loved. I miss having communion every Sunday. It’s like meeting someone in the same spot week after week and suddenly they’re no longer there to meet you. I miss belonging deeply to a community. I miss the feeling of comfort and renewal that I received every week. In order to find some of that, we’ve been attending chapel on post and I just don’t know this song yet. It’s like hearing your favorite song with some of the notes missing or your favorite verse being skipped. It’s just not the same song and it almost makes you wish they weren’t singing it at all.

But it’s your favorite song so you can’t go too long without singing it. This song is so good that even if you just get to hum a few bars it’s still better to sing it than to keep silent. So even though it feels so different from my song, I still sing. So even though I worry that I can hardly recognize it anymore, I still sing. And even though some days all I want is to go back to my little country church, I struggle to learn this new song instead.

Sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth! (Psalm 96:1 CEB)

I think of this verse often when I’m struggling with a new song, especially when I miss my old one. I think of all the songs my life sings, the old ones I’ve left behind and the new ones that I thought I could never love as much as the old ones but then became my favorites. There are so many wonderful and beautiful songs for our lives to sing. Sometimes we sing them in churches and sometimes we sing them on army posts. Sometimes we sing them in the middle of the night with a sick, crying baby in our arms. Sometimes we sing them in a new house in a new state. But we always sing them for the Lord.

What new song is God asking you to sing?

See more devotions from Emily and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.