Friday, July 15, 2011

DEVOTION: Singing the Lord's Song in a Foreign Land - Kathi Macias

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Psalm 137:4)
            When the Israelites were taken captive, the Scriptures tell us they hung their harps on the willows and asked, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” God’s chosen people had lost their homes, their loved ones, their freedom, and they felt they had no reason or ability to sing praises to God.
            Don’t many of us react the same way—and to much lesser problems? When all is going well we break into song and praise God from a heart of joy and gratitude. But let something go wrong and we “hang our harps on the willows” and go around grumbling and bemoaning our fate. Oh, sure, we may fall to our knees in prayer, begging God to deliver us and make everything right again, but is there any room for praise to flow from our broken hearts?
            In and of ourselves, it is perfectly natural to praise God in the good times and either ignore, curse, or beseech Him for deliverance in the bad. But if we have been born again and have God’s Spirit living within us, then we are not limited to our natural reactions. We have the ability to call upon God’s Spirit within us to release praise to God—to “sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land.” We simply have to make the choice to do so.
            Anyone can sing the Lord’s song and offer praise to our mighty God when all is going well, but a true disciple is disciplined to praise God regardless of the situation or the circumstance. As I have come to understand and practice this great spiritual truth, I have found that one of two things happen: the situation improves…or it matters less to me if it doesn’t. Either way, I find my spirit soaring on the notes of the Lord’s song—often so much sweeter when being sung in a foreign land.
            If you’re in a foreign land today, beloved (and I know that many of you are!), please reach up and take your harp from the willow branches and CHOOSE to sing the Lord’s song right where you are. I promise you will soon find your heart soaring above your problems and pain….

Kathi Macias is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—as well as an “occasional radio host” and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her popular international Extreme Devotion fiction series from New Hope Publishers. Thank you for sharing your devotions with us through this column, Kathi.


  1. Thank you for this devotion, Kathi, which is very timely for me. I'm reaching for my harp . . .

  2. I was reading this morning about God's presence wherever I go. I can't hide! But neither am I ever alone and abandoned.

  3. Sometimes, in the foreign land of grief and bereavement, God is gracious enough to hand you your harp to sing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." He did it for me.