The sound first resonated like a distant rumble. Then, it erupted into a loud roar. The whole building was collapsing around the three young boys. Everything grew very dark and still. They were alive but injured. There seemed no way for them to escape from the Chinese 2008 earthquake.
One of the boys, about nine years old, began to sing. Somehow singing became for him a cry of his soul. One Western commentator remarked how God was surely at work in this young boy. The other boys began to sing. The singing motivated his spirit and his determination to somehow escape from this forbidding prison of rock and rubble. The miracle is that the boy made his way to the surface. After receiving freedom, the boy expressed his gratitude by returning to help the other boys to get free.
Amazing! Singing from the heart to God has power to blast through all kinds of barriers.
It is a lifeline to God — the cry of one’s heart to God. Such singing crosses lines of culture, language, and nation. The Bible describes the dramatic picture of two men who were imprisoned for teaching others how to trust in and live for Jesus. Their enemies were furious. The authorities ordered Paul and Silas to be flogged. Beaten and bleeding, they were “thrown into prison” (Acts ). Then, they were placed in a dark dungeon in the lowest part of the prison.
Faced with no light and no obvious way of escape, they could have grown bitter or cried out in self-pity and given up. But, Paul and Silas responded in the most amazing way. Like the boys in
“…Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly there was a great earthquake and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains of every prisoner flew off!”
(Acts 16:25-26, NLT)
The result was that the official in charge of the prison saw the work of God in all this and begged to know how to receive Jesus into His heart. The whole extended household of the prison guard became Christians transformed by the power of God. The word for household (oikos) refers also to relatives and servants of the prison official. Music of praise to God in Jesus’ name can set you free from the prison of drugs, addictions or resentment. When you are truly set free, waste no time in coming alongside of others who are also calling out for real freedom. Music of your heart to God can be truly powerful – a lifeline to those who are desperate for hope. Don’t wait to be in the mood for singing. In any circumstance, make the cry of your souls a “joyful symphony” to God (Psalm 98:6).