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Thoughts from a Musician's Heart


Early in my orchestral career, I began learning the first lesson of being a good orchestral player: we are a team hitched to a wagon of the composer’s music led by a driver, the conductor. We can lose our joy in our grumble over the worth of the music we are playing and/or the interpretation of the person directing the wagon. Recently God has been reminding me of the parallel to Himself as both “composer” and “director” of the universe.

We probably all have joined David in the question of “How long, Lord?” (Ps. 13:1 ) We know that God is fully able to move in a moment in spectacular miracles with His power, but He seems very willing to move in ways that can seem torturously slow to our human eyes. I was struck this past Christmastide with the words in

I Tim. 1:16 , “ But I received mercy for this reason, that ….Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. “ Also, in Gal.4:4 , “ But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,…..”

God moves when the time is full, when all that needs to be in place is in place. When the stage is set, He enters in and does His sovereign work. In the day of Jesus’ timely birth, there was great joy despite all that was “not yet” made right in the world. In the fullness of time, Jesus was born that the Father might display his perfect patience as evidence of His great mercy toward us in the gift of His Son in the middle of all that is not yet right.

These words struck me anew this Christmas with my hand-clenched demand around wanting God to move now to satisfy my desire for less suffering to resolve what is broken here, but in his great patience, a deeper work is done. More soil is broken up in my heart as I wrestle with Him over what I don’t understand or what I long to see unbound in my heart.

What I have come to see is that it is my perspective that needs to change. He is always just and on time. From where I sit in this world behind my cello, I am the one who is limited in my ability to comprehend what perfect alignment looks like for the fulfillment of time to be reached so that His perfect patience might be displayed.

As orchestral musicians, we wait for the right measure and the right beat to enter with the right pitch, volume, and timbre to add our layer of sonority to the score written by a composer and interpreted by a conductor. It’s a good example of the complexity of God’s work in each of us to create the right backdrop for Him to sovereignly fit our thread into the larger tapestry He has designed. May I learn to trust Him more in that good work in me and in this world.


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