Last spring, my church suffered heartbreak like it had not experienced in all of its thirty years. Though my husband and I had only been members of the congregation for just over a decade, we, too, were devastated by our losses. It seemed like every week another family left the fellowship—our church family began to crumble, and hurt, frustration, and distrust were left in the wake.
Around the same time, we began our spring session, Shine On. Our class meets on Monday and Thursday mornings, and those are my favorite days during good seasons—during this particular season, being in class, teaching my students, was life-giving.
One of the songs from Shine On was a fun song with a quick tempo called “Glow in the Dark.” This Jason Gray song says,
Sometimes the world feels like a mess
Full of drama, full of stress
And life puts a fist right in your ribs
You can hide if you choose to
And no one would even blame you
Or you can let them see how you deal with it
That even in the darkest place
His love can make you radiate.
This song reminded me that even in the darkest places, in the midst of chaos, Jesus said to let our light shine before men, that they might see our good works and glorify our God in heaven. It ministered to my heart in a profound way during that season, pulling me out of a darkness that threatened to drag me under a rock and leave me there. This song empowered me with a choice—to hide or to radiate.
A few months later, I had the opportunity to travel to Central Asia with a small group of young adults. One evening was particularly difficult, and I shared with them how much this song meant to me. They insisted I teach them the choreography; so I did. Four of us Jesus-loving girls quietly sang and danced to this light-shining song in a hotel in the section of the world that is largely unreached with the Gospel. Our hearts were renewed and God’s name was lifted high that day.
Paul tells the church at Colossae “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts.” A song of worship can be a prayer, an acknowledgement of who God is, a confession. Sometimes these songs we sing, these songs we get to dance and move and sweat to in Body & Soul Fitness, remind us of who God is and they build us up, and other times they bring us to our knees in conviction and repentance.
What a gift it is to be able to shout His name without apology. We put these songs in our ears that tell of God’s holiness, His mercy, His might, and His great love for us. We hide God’s word in our hearts as we let the lyrics from each session of Body & Soul Fitness wash over us.
In this faith walk, there are no road maps, and no blueprints outside of the Gospel–the truth of God’s word. We believe that when God says He is near, He is; when God says He rights all wrongs, He does; when He says we can trust Him because He cares for us, we can—that faith is what holds us together. It keeps us on level ground. It holds us in the boat, even when the waves crash over us, time and time again.
The truth we are reminded of is what saves us. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. We bring God glory when we renew our minds and increase in our knowledge of Him. We spread His fame by the way we love one another and build each other up to do good works. While we train our bodies in our classes to run the races set out for us, we are indeed training our souls to be strong, to love big, and to find joy. Most of all, we are setting our minds on what is above, not on earthly things, not on what is seen, but what is unseen.
Continue singing to the LORD and blessing His name, dear friends. Whether in dark times personally, in your church, or among an unreached people group, Tell of His salvation, and say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
Brandi Schroeder is a youth pastor’s wife and the mom of four wild young men. She has been co-teaching Body & Soul Fitness with several amazing Arkansas’ instructors for nearly a decade, and she counts it a privilege to lead the amazing women in her class. She seeks to inspire women to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, and she is passionate about spreading the Gospel to the nations.
For more information or to find a class near you, please visit www.bodyandsoul.org.