Scripture Reading: Exodus 15:1-21
When you’ve broken free from something in your life, what’s a practical thing you can do to stay free?
One thing is to write down specifically what God has done for you―in a poem, in a song, or just in some words that don’t even rhyme. When you take the time to write it down, especially in a way that can be recited or sung later, those words can be a reminder of what God has done for you―and what He’s going to do in the future.
I don’t think of myself as a poet, but sometimes poems just come out! One came out when I was a senior in college when I was dating Lana. I was working at an office that had an Apple computer called the “Lisa.” “Lisa” was Apple’s forerunner to the Macintosh, and was the first of Apple’s computers to have a “graphical user interface,” years before Microsoft created “windows.”
That’s when I fell in love, not only with Lana, but also with Apple computers. I discovered that this computer allowed me to express myself in a poem by drawing pictures next to the text:
“I love your name Lana,
You don’t look like a (I drew a picture of a banana).
Your (I drew a picture of her hair) is so curly,
You never look (I drew a picture of a squirrel) -ly.”
I’ll spare you from having to read the rest of the poem! As goofy as it was, Lana has kept it to this day.
The fact that we take the time to write down something about someone special can have a significant impact on them―and on us.
For the Israelites, when they got free from the Egyptians and made it to the other side of the Red Sea, they seemed to almost spontaneously combust into a song about the experience:
“I will sing to the LORD,
for he is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider
he has hurled into the sea.”
This goes on for 20 more verses. The song is specifically about their experience, recalling how the water piled up like a wall on each side of them, and then how God blew the water back into place again with His breath, plunging their enemies to the depths like a stone. The song then turns into a song of hope for what God promised to do for them in the future.
Their song was such a powerful reminder of God’s deliverance that we still sing some of its refrains today, such as, “And I shall prepare him my heart…” from the song Exodus XV.
Just as people love it when we take time to write about how much they mean to us, God loves it, too. One of the reasons is because it takes time to write down the words. In that time, when we recall what God has done for us and what He has promised to do for us in the future, we can find hope to go on. We can remember all that He’s done and all that He’s going to do. We remind ourselves that we don’t really want to go back to our own “Egypt” ever again.
As I wrote this lesson, we were about to celebrate Christmas all around the world. We were getting ready to sing songs about things that God has done throughout the ages, some of them thousands of years ago, and some just a few years ago. I wondered aloud if maybe it was time for a new song, too?
Has God done something in your life that you’d like to remember forever―something that you’d like to pass on to future generations? Or is there someone special in your life who could use a special gift this week? Not a gift from a store, but a gift from a storehouse of love. If so, let it flow! Write a poem to the awesome God we serve―or to someone that you love. If you like music, how about writing a tune, or just humming one that can go along with the poem?
Then give it to your Beloved as a special act of love. They’ll keep it forever. And it will help keep you free!
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.