From Plea to Praise // Rachel // ODU

Last year, 2 months after my grandfather passed away, I was sitting in church as they began to play the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong. Immediately I was hooked and could not get the song out of my head. I went home and sat in my room and listened to it on repeat as I began to pull out my guitar and start to learn how to play it. Almost a year later, the song has still been stuck in my head. Most people would be annoyed by his, however, I am glad it has stuck around. The song has brought me relief in the midst of this hard season.

You would think after listening to a specific song for a year that I would know a lot about it, but that wasn’t the case. I blindly sang, played, and listened to the song as it brought me comfort over the past year. Not once did I care to stop and think about what it really meant…until recently. Roughly a month ago, I pulled out my laptop and started to dive into what the word “hosanna” means. I wanted to know what the song was truly saying.

The word hosanna reminds me of the Chinese nesting dolls. You uncover one thing and start to think you are at the end… but not quite, because there is more to it! John Piper explains the word by saying this: “Our English word “hosanna” comes from a Greek word “hosanna” which comes from a Hebrew phrase hoshiya na.” The word itself has been on a journey throughout time!

In the Old Testament the word meant “Save us!” It was a cry for help. Fast forward to the New Testament, something happened along the way and the word began to mean “Salvation has come!” The meaning of the word has gone from plea to praise. Now what happened throughout the journey of the word hosanna for it to drastically change like that? If you said “Jesus” you are correct! Jesus is the reason that people took this word and altered it to be a praise instead of a plea.

Christ has done the same in my life today, he has taken my life from plea to praise. I accepted Christ into my life 2 years ago and everything started to change for the better! It has not been an easy 2 years though, many hard seasons have come my way and I tend to forget that I need Christ everyday, in every moment. Last year my discipler walked me through a book called “Hearing The Music Of The Gospel.” The more I read into the word hosanna, the more I am reminded of this book. The basis of the book is that we know the Gospel and are just going through the motions, we seem to know the choreography to the dance pretty well. Yet, we aren’t hearing the music. We read a passage and start to ask ourselves, “Okay what is this passage saying I need to do to be more like Christ?” Instead we need to read a passage and ask ourselves, “What spiritual brokenness is this passage revealing that only Christ can heal?”

When we first accept Christ we are overjoyed and excited to start making changes in our lives, but over time that feeling can dull down and we can forget to hear the music of the gospel. In moments where we can thank Christ for who he is and ask him for help to heal our spiritual brokenness, we tend to just pray for God to take away all of our problems. This may not be true for all of us, but it has been for me. Last year when I lost my grandpa, I kept praying for God to take away the pain I was feeling or to give me more time with my grandpa. I was crying out “Hosanna!” but I was living in the Old Testament and asking God to save me. Over the past year, I have moved from the Old Testament to the New Testament and learned to praise Christ for entering into my life and refining me during this hard season. Through Christ I have been able to learn to find joy in the midst of the hard seasons that life will bring. My “Hosanna” has turned from a plea to a praise.

Hi friends! My name is Rachel Titus and I am at the tail end of my time at ODU. I will be graduating in December and am excited and nervous to see what the Lord has planned for me next! I like to live by the saying “A little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.” But I switch it around to “A whole lot of coffee and a whole lot more of Jesus.” Thanks for reading! <3

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