Thoughts from a Musician's Heart
A Journey of Grief and Gratitude
Psalm 69:30 states after 29 verses of sorrow, “I will praise the name of God with song, and exalt Him with thanksgiving.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
This year I lost the most important thing to me in life: my marriage. Out of the wreckage of this heartbreak and loss, I was stunned when I felt the stirring of the Holy Spirit within me desiring to praise God even during the times when I did not acutely feel His presence. As I felt this sense of gratitude sweeping over me, I finally realized that it was Him quietly assuring me that He was enough. I am immediately reminded of David in the Psalm above who desperately laments, aching for God’s ear, but also praises Him in abundance.
The Bible does not overlook grief, but gives it its proper place – the step before thanksgiving and joy. We absolutely must find time to laugh, but let’s not always attempt to move through our grief as quickly as humanly possible. A Mahler symphony is not great because it is joyful for the entirety of the work. Rather, we not only enjoy but anticipate the circle of emotions ranging from sadness to angst to joy. The lows can be low, but oh the joy found in this beautiful life as well. How can we, or those we love, find joy when facing life’s trials? I do not have all those answers by far, but of this I am sure – it is possible to be joyful while undergoing deep, deep pain. The answer that I have found this last year is gratitude.
During this journey of grief and gratitude that I walked through especially these past few years, I have found myself so grateful for the gift of music, especially as a musician: the joy of pulling my bow across the strings, pressing down those beautiful piano keys, or feeling the breath in my lungs as I sing praise to Him. Not only is our music an expression of beauty and art, but oh what loss would be ours if we failed to realize that this was God’s chosen avenue for us to worship Him. Should we not be grateful for even our ability to sing, dance, and play for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Should we not yearn and be joyful every time we are given the opportunity to express love, adoration, and gratitude toward Him as the Psalmist did? Yes, this should be our heart’s desire. My desire for you, my friend, is to be reminded through these verses of the power of song that leads to gratitude! I encourage you to search diligently and find the blessings God has graciously bestowed on you even in the midst of your storms. Let us wake up every day grateful for all the gifts that are ours and express that gratitude to Christ in song and thanksgiving.