Surrounding Our Lives with the Music of the Gospel

By Melanie Kauffman

It feels as if I’ve always been surrounded by music. In the late nineties, when I was just a child, I received my very first cassette tape. Before long, I was playing CD’s on my boombox and my state-of-the-art Panasonic Discman. Nowadays I play music on my iPhone and my Amazon Echos. I like to play music when I am getting ready for work in the morning, when I cook, when I do laundry, as I get ready for bed, whenever. I like having it on in the background to fill the silence.

A few months ago I was talking with a friend about how I could grow closer to God on a daily basis. She suggested that I take a daily routine, like making my bed, and add something to it, like reading a chapter of the Bible. I told her that I usually listen to music while making my bed, and then I had a thought. Why not listen to Christian music? Pandora’s Hymns radio station quickly became my favorite way in which to fill this empty silence.

The familiar tunes are comforting, and the truth proclaimed in the lyrics is often reassuring and reaffirming as I go about my busy day. I might be making breakfast and hear “No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from his hand.”1 What a powerful way to start the day! Oftentimes, these songs settle snuggly in my brain and resurface again throughout the day. I might be putting a child down for a nap and “Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul”2 is going through my head. Or I’m grocery shopping and as I’m picking out my favorite cereal I’m resisting the urge to break out singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which has been stuck in my head all day. It’s kind of surreal, but also kind of amazing.

God gave us this gift of music.  It doesn’t just have to be something we sing only at worship every Sunday; it doesn’t just have to be that old song your grandma used to play on the organ. It can be used in our daily lives to remind us of our ever-present, loving God. He is walking with me hour by hour, so why shouldn’t I keep him on my mind? By listening to these beautiful tunes I can do that, just as my favorite hymn says “Thou my best thought, by day or by night. Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.”3

1In Christ I Stand by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty
210,000 Reasons by Matt Redman
3Be Thou My Vision, Traditional Irish Hymn