Jan 20, 2020 08:00am
What is Your Internal Canary Bird Singing to You?

In the old days of mining, the miners took a canary bird down with them while they worked. This bird would normally tweet and sing, but when it stopped singing, the miners would evacuate because the bird could detect danger gases before humans could. 

I used to love to sing. 

I would sing in the shower, make up songs on the playground, and join about every choir you could think of from the time I learned how to talk. When I was home by myself, which didn’t happen often since I have a large family, I would go downstairs where the acoustics were good and sing as loudly as I wanted to. 

I used to love singing at church. 

In the 30 or so minutes before the sermon (depending on the church), I could get my heart right before God with praise and worship songs, melodies, rhythms and prayer. 

The other day I realized something . . . I have stopped singing. 

I no longer sing at church; I only listen for the most part. 

I no longer sing along with the radio in my car. 

I no longer sing in the shower. 

I no longer sing at home when I’m alone. 

What happened? 

My internal canary bird stopped tweeting. 

Have you ever wondered why the book of Psalms is riddled with action verbs such as “sing,” “make glad,” “rejoice,” and “praise?” Well, singing joyfully, from the heart, is powerful. And to God, it is an act of worship. 

To the church of Colossae, the Apostle Paul wrote: 

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16)

Now maybe there isn’t a backwards connection between my singing and feeling gratitude and joy or even the message of Christ dwelling richly inside of me, but . . . 

Maybe singing all the time was a childish habit I finally grew out of. 

Maybe it hurts to sing that much or that loud or that high like I used to since I no longer participate in any choirs or practice. 

Maybe I can never remember song lyrics, and it is too much work for me to google the words every time I want to sing something.

Except I used to have a song etched on my heart every morning and throughout my days. 

So I began to wonder if my internal canary bird was warning me of something? Or maybe I was in danger of losing sight of my joy? 

Had I been so stressed out lately, so self-centered, that I have forgotten to be thankful for the God who gives me breath? 

Had I been reading my Bible more as a routine religious habit than a genuine time where I sought the Lord? 

Now that I realize the singing has stopped, I need to turn my eyes back towards the center of my joy – Jesus Christ. 

“The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Do you have an internal canary bird warning you? 

It might not be your singing, but it could be another outward expression of joy like laughing or smiling or counting your blessings. 

Is your canary bird still singing? Or do you need to evacuate whatever you are doing and turn back to Christ before an explosion sets off in your life?

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