Singing My Theology, No. 1

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Me and a friend from college were having coffee together. Our conversation meandered through the topics of life updates, marriage, ministry, and how awkward it is to be in our thirties. Somewhere in our meanderings, we found ourselves discussing painful seasons of our lives and the angry honest conversations we’ve had with God. This is when she recited a line from a song: “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness…”

“Wait! Were we in that class together?!” Yes, we were. The class was called—please don’t make fun of me—”Pastor’s Wife and Ministry.” I know. It sounds absolutely ridiculous. But there were things we learned in that class that carried us through some of the hardest seasons of our lives. The main thing that stayed with us is a song the professor made us sing at the start of every class. (I know this is getting cheesy, but stay with me. I promise it’s gonna get better!) This would be a good time to mention that I’m a pianist, and for some reason, this class met in the choir room. So our sweet professor would say, “Esther, come to the piano,” and together we would sing,

The Lord knows the way through the wilderness,

and all I have to do is follow.

The Lord knows the way through the wilderness,

and all I have to do is follow.

Strength for today is mine all the way

and all that I need for tomorrow.

The Lord knows the way through the wilderness,

and all I have to do is follow.

The professor was (and still is) an amazing woman. Her name is Marcia Lednicky, but everybody calls her Sister Lednicky—not “Sister” like a nun, but like the way that old school people in some churches call each other “Brother So-and-So” or “Sister So-and-So.” She was the wife of our college president, and before being the First Lady of Central Bible College, she and her husband had a dynamic ministry that brought them all over the world. Now that they’re retired, their lives don’t look that much different; they’re still traveling the world and ministering together.

The best things we learned in class came from the wealth of stories Sister Lednicky shared with us. The ones that left the biggest impression on me were about her daughter who died when she was a little girl. (She even told us some of the nasty things people said to her at the height of her grief.) She’s no stranger to pain and heartache. So when she started every class with this song, she was purposefully searing the words into our minds. The Lord knows the way through the wilderness, and all I have to do is follow.

“One day,” she would say, “you’re gonna go through a really hard season in your life, and you’ll be crying over the sink while you wash the dishes, and you’re gonna be singin’ this song! The Lord know the way through the wilderness…” Every single young lady in that class laughed. We thought she was being silly. But I think that over the years, every single one of us did exactly what she said we would do. I’ve had numerous “The Lord knows that way through the wilderness” crying sessions. Some while doing dishes. A few in the car. At least once while kneeling on my bathroom floor.

There’s something about singing our theology that has a way of speaking deep into our souls in ways that words alone cannot.

Sometimes our heavy hearts need words of encouragement, but some emotions are too profound for words. Music goes deeper; it can speak in ways preachers can’t. So sing your theology. Sing it loud for the world to hear. Sing it even louder for your heart to hear.

One thought on “Singing My Theology, No. 1

  1. Our Administrator taught us to always sing “What a friend we have in Jesus” and engraved it in our heads so that when trouble comes we go to one source first and it’s not ourselves. I think it’s great that there’s a song that could take our thoughts out of the situation and into the right way of thinking. God bless Sister Lednicky.

    Like

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