I used to have a problem with “praise and worship songs” with repeated lyrics. I got burned out on them after enduring them all throughout high school. I felt emotionally manipulated into worship. I felt pressure to close my eyes and raise my hands because the music was swelling and the words were repetitive and because that’s what everyone around me was doing.
Ever since then I’ve assumed the worst (a very bad habit of mine) and closed my heart instead of my eyes when the repetition starts up.
Not so anymore.
It was while listening to Sandra McCracken last year that it hit me. As she sang the repeated refrain “Put your trust in God, I will yet give thanks to Him,” I heard it with different ears. I heard her pleading with her own soul to do that. I heard her words in the spirit in which they were intended- as a prayer, as begging God for the grace to trust in Him in the midst of hard circumstances and uncertainty.
There’s a Chris Tomlin song that has been coming up on Pandora lately that has served the same purpose. I hear him singing, “You’re a good, good Father. It’s who you are. It’s who you are. It’s who you are. And I’m loved by you. It’s who I am. It’s who I am. It’s who I am,” and I hear the repetition as a means of getting those truths to actually penetrate his head and sink into his heart. And as I join in, I experience the same.
I am a hard-hearted, forgetful soul, who is prone to wander and to leave the God I love.
I need constant reminders.
I need to hear the truth repeatedly.
I need the gospel of the cross to lift up my head.