I was chatting with a friend last night as I often do in the late evening. During our conversation, she mentioned that one of her greatest connections to God is music, especially now when things are hard in her life. She hears him when she listens to worship songs. Her heart cries out to Him as she sings along. On this I had to agree with her. I feel exactly the same way. Music is my refuge to which I escape to be with Jesus. On days when I can't write in my journal because I don't know where to begin, music speaks the words I can't say. In moments when I need to escape to the place where I just listen for His still, small voice, music is always there to speak His words to me. When I sit down and try to read the Word and find that I can't focus for more than 5 seconds, music is there with lyrics taken straight from the Bible.
God gave me this gift, this love of music, this meager talent. I have loved music since I was a very little girl when I used to go to the basement and use a hair brush as a microphone as I sang my heart out while John Denver and the Muppets played in the cassette player. I loved music for what it was, for it's beauty, for the way it made me feel, for the way it made me pause and think and listen.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to study collegiate music. That God called me to do so is a gift that I will always cherish. Of all the choices I have been given in this life, there are many things I wouldn't choose to do again, but spending 5 years studying music? I would do it again in a heartbeat.
While studying music in college, I learned that music was a gift God gave to me that I could use to serve others. Every performance became a worship experience and a chance to speak to other people, to show them a little more of Jesus. The time I played a Brandenburg Concerto with the Indiana Wesleyan University Orchestra? I worshiped Him. My senior flute recital? Hours and hours were spent in the practice room and recital hall rehearsing, practicing, thinking, working out the hard stuff, praying, and listening to God so that I could give Him this tiny offering in the most excellent form I could provide.
Music was my life. I loved that life. I loved those years. I thrived.
But I lost something, and I think I've only recently realized it.
I forgot why I fell in love with music in the first place. Music is, indeed, a channel God gave to me to minister to others, but I fell in love with music long before I learned to use this gift in that way. I think I spend more time thinking about how to use my gift and less time thinking about why I want others to experience music. I want them to experience the reason why I love it so much.
Music is the gift God gave me to speak to me. Music is the language that He understands even more than I do. Music is in me, and God knows this because He put it there. Music is part of what defines my personality, and God uses it to speak to me because He knows I'm listening. The Father uses music to breathe life into my very soul.
I have performed music that has made me smile, laugh, and cry. I have been blessed by performances that have made me gasp and pause in wonder at the talent God has given to some people and at the way He uses even secular musicians to reach my heart and to speak truth to me. Music is my second language, a language best understood by the Creator Himself.
This afternoon as I played my flute, I listened. I played an arrangement of It is Well With my Soul, and I heard the Father reminding me that my soul is what matters. This life is temporary. My soul is well. Some day, the trumpet shall sound, and all the trials of this life will be over, and my soul will be all that matters in that moment.
I played an arrangement of His Eye is on the Sparrow and heard the Holy Spirit whispering to me, telling me that, not only is His eye on the Sparrow, but His hand is on my shoulder. His arms are wrapped around me. His feet are leading me. His voice is whispering into my ear and drawing me closer to His perfect love.
I played Holy, Holy, Holy and imagined the moment when I will one day sit at the feet of Jesus singing those very words with the angels in heaven, and all this will be gone. All these things will pass away, but His Word will never pass away.
Music is my gift. Maybe it isn't my second language. Maybe it is my first language. When my stubborn heart won't listen, God always uses music to touch my heart, to reach my soul. He knows what I need. Music is what I need right now. Jesus and music will get me through this. I am grateful, so very grateful, for this gift. The Father has given me a piece of heaven on earth. Sweet melodies fill my heart until it is overflowing with words from heaven.