Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeAll The NewsThe Songs I Cannot Sing

The Songs I Cannot Sing

For several months now, I have been fighting with my vocal cords. A polyp has grown which affects my voice when I speak and especially when I sing. I really, really love to talk and I really, really, really love to sing!

I’m one of those weird people who wake up in the morning with a song in my head pretty much every day. From the time I open my eyes, I am humming or singing something — until now. I attempted to demonstrate to my Sunday School class what the polyp has done to my singing voice. One brutally honest new student — who has never heard me sing before — laughed and said it sounded like the honk of a goose. Hurtful but accurate.

This morning when I woke up, the song in my head said “I love you Lord and I lift my voice….” But I cannot lift my voice.

I think Satan is using this ailment to try to defeat me. He whispers dark and depressing statements into my thoughts about permanent damage and never being able to sing again.

The second verse of the old hymn “Sunshine in my Soul” by Eliza Edmunds Hewitt says this: ”There is music in my soul today, a carol to my King; And Jesus, listening, can hear the song I cannot sing.”

I am reminded there are people who have never been able to sing, whether because of ability or disability, so there must be a way to lift my voice without actual vocal cords. How do you lift your voice when you have no voice?

Perhaps we should define “voice” in a broader sense. We know the dictionary definition includes words, tones, sounds, frequency and pitch. All those are under the heading of voice as a noun. As a verb, to voice something is to make a thing to be heard. So far, nothing is making me feel any better. I still need my vocal cords to make this happen.

Unless there is a way to “make a thing to be heard” without words? I suppose it depends on what you want to “be heard.” If you are “lifting your voice” in worship, can you let that worship be heard without sound? Can you praise without sound?

We need to define what the words worship and praise mean. Looking at the Hebrew dictionary, worship means “to bow down, to prostrate oneself” and praise means “to hold out the hand, to throw at or away, to worship with extended hands.”

Neither of those definitions require a voice! Now we are getting somewhere. Worship and praise both have indicators of humility and reflection away from self. When I stop thinking of what I cannot do (sing) and place the focus on what God is doing, I bow to His plan and His authority. My worship and my praise do not need to be heard by anyone else because God can hear the cries of my heart. He can literally hear the songs I cannot sing. Those tears running down my face — they are my voice. My hands lifted in adoration and gratitude — they are my voice. My surrender to His will for my life — with or without the ability to sing — this is my act of worship.

Scripture — “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies (dedicating all of yourselves, set apart) as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship” (Rom. 12:1 AMP).

Prayer —Father, thank you for giving me the opportunity to praise you with or without a voice. Let my surrender be my act of worship. Let me lift my voice to You and hear the songs I cannot sing. Use this blog to encourage someone to praise you with their whole heart and worship you in spirit and in truth. Amen

Respond — Look past your perceived handicap. Instead of seeing it as an excuse, identify how you can worship in spite of it. Pay attention to what Satan has been whispering to you that keeps you from surrender. Is he saying you aren’t good enough or smart enough? Maybe he is placing emphasis on what you cannot do instead of what you can do!

“Without worship we go about miserable.” – A.W. Tozer

— These articles are shared via the National WMA web page blog that can be accessed at