Five Little Notes was first posted on GreatFamilies.net on April 11, 2020.
“I heard your bird singing again this morning.” I hear that often at my house these days.
“My bird.” There’s more than one of them, although we always refer to them in the singular. They do not sing in a chorus; they sing as soloists. And if you listen closely, they almost always sing their song to each other, in a beautiful echo, typically with one very close by, and one very distant. It requires intentional focus and concentration to hear their antiphonal praise.
And, of course, they do not really belong to me; they are small but very personally significant members of God’s Psalm 19 declarers of His glory in creation.
Five Little Notes. That is the extent of their song. Five Little Notes; really, each of the five is the same pitch and tone, sung one right after the other. But these distinct Five Little Notes have become reassurances to me of my security in Jesus, of His Spirit within me, and how the grace of our Father in Heaven wastes nothing and in all things reminds us of His good.
I remember the first time I heard this Five Little Notes song.
Several years ago now, in a particularly difficult season that included an extended hospitalization for pneumonia and then more weeks at home for recovery, I spent much time on our back-deck searching the Word and listening as the Holy Spirit kept Jesus’ promise that He would be our teacher, advocate, and guide.
Psalm 34 and passages like it became my dwelling place in those weeks. In my Bible, Psalm 34 is highly decorated with underlines, dates, and margin comments made during that season.
It was during one of those back-deck sessions that I first heard the song of “my” bird: Five Little Notes. And He had my full attention. A reminder that praise is a reassuring and life-giving response in the valley. And the antiphonal replies encouraged me to not focus on despair, but to join them with my own praise and worship. That little bird was my Psalm 19 messenger that day, and he continues to sing.
Five Little Notes. Hear the Five Little Notes melody and message from these five verses in Psalm 34:
-I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. v 4
-This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. v 6
-The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. v 7
-Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! v 8
-The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. v 18
Are you feeling alone, fearful, isolated, or discouraged in this season of social distancing, stay at home proclamations, and potential quarantines in the face of COVID-19?
Five Little Notes. My bird was singing again this morning. And I heard the antiphonal reply of his friend.
We need each other. And we need to “sing” to each other like the little birds do. They can’t help it. They were made to sing.
And so were we. Please, do not suffer alone, my friend. Reach out to others. Use the technology. Be creative. And sing. I would love it if you would share your beautiful song in reply.
Five Little Notes. Now, Sing!
Gary Byrum is husband, dad, pastor, friend, and follower of Jesus. Gary is self-employed and loves volunteering as a pastoral counselor, particularly in the area of marriage and family.