How Do I Sing a New Song? How Do I Learn the Lyrics?

When your illness leads you to a new place in life, how do you stay joyful and find a new song to sing. Lynn explains.

“Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for him” (Psalm 98:1).

Salvation for Him? I thought salvation was His gift to me, reconciliation back to the Father, my eternal destiny secured and –oh–now I get it. Salvation is also the means for God, through Christ, to take up residence within me–within each of us who believe. He desires to be my guide as I live out the gift of the life He has given to me.

He is the song I am learning to sing. My steps through life are the rhythm that can bless his heart as He looks back on His suffering and sings because now I am His. I want to learn from my Troubadour–lyricist of the words of the music I need, and my Maestro–conductor of the way the music is delivered.

I have been in circumstances where the joy of a song seemed impossible. Singing when afflicted seems an oxymoron, but I am exhorted to sing a new song.

what are the lyrics
you can give to me?

Can pain be lyrical?

Can suffering be sung?”

Perhaps these are not the right questions. Singing a song when one is burdened begs this question in Scripture: “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4)

My chronic afflictions and other challenges initially push me into a foreign land. And it does not end there. It is the land that needs to be questioned. My Maestro has already gone ahead to prepare the way yet remains within me as I am on the journey to this new place.

To answer the questions I go within. I go deeply within. I take my cries, pain, questions, fears, and doubts, and ask the One who knows how to sing. What I bring to Him is my song to Him. He takes it all: my words plus the groans representing words I do not have, and composes a new song.

I have become a co-writer with Him because He uses my input and mixes it with what He knows. We have co-labored. I have labored in my trust to turn to Him in honesty. His completed labor on the Cross helps Him to understand my cries and what to do with my words. A new song emerges–a duet.

He has walked the path of suffering before me and compassionately leads me along our way–with a song.

Prayer: “Lord, my life to You I bring, may each song I have to sing, be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.*” Amen. (* “In His Time,” a lyric by Diane Ball.)

About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at

Have you recently entered a time that is foreign to you in the challenges it presents? How may the honesty of your cries to the Lord help you to feel his Presence with you? How will you let Him compose this time for you – and with a new song?

Lynn shares. . . I had the joy of meeting Jeff Johnson the summer of 2010 when he was the worship leader at a small arts’ conference. It was a huge step in faith for me to attend as I had not been able to go to such events for many years. I was deeply struggling physically as I sat in the small community church that first morning attendees met together. This is the song, “Christ Has Walked This Path,” that Jeff played and that we sang. Tears streamed down my face in recognition of the reality of its lyrics. -Lynn

Lynn thought you would enjoy this video of the song “Christ Has Walked This Path” with Jeff Johnson with Brain Dunning and Wendy Goodwin. -Lisa