Those of you who know me or have been following my blog also know that my family has been in one transition after another for the last few years. Job changes with moves from city to city, state to state with the last move taking us across the country from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Coast. From employers who made bad investments causing layoffs, to employers committing fraud and bringing the whole company down with them, we've seen it all in recent years. Today we find ourselves again waiting on another job change. Yet through all the drama, uncertainty, sorting, packing, moving, storing and waiting, there can be peace. Now don't get me wrong, I don’t necessarily feel the peace every day or even walk in that peace but it is there for me if I choose to have it.
Not too many days ago, my teenage nephew Blaine, was giving me some encouragement on Facebook. (Isn’t it wonderful, God can even use Facebook to speak to us!) But seriously, Blaine responded to my comments about our next 'faith adventure' -- the uncertainty of where we are going and the aching back that goes along with moving. Then something sweet just came up from inside him... He wrote, "God is only tuning the harp, sometimes things need to get tight to make music." His comment literally struck a chord in me! I haven't been able to get it out of my mind for days.
At the age of five I started taking piano lessons. In my elementary years I continued with piano but also joined the orchestra and began playing the cello. By Jr. High I had learned the viola, and eventually played the string bass. So there's no wonder Blaine's comment spoke so strongly to me. Even though I don't play an instrument on a regular basis these days, I still see myself as a musician because that was formed so solidly in me at a very young age.
Every kind of musical instrument: percussion, woodwind or stringed, all have to be tuned in some fashion. Whether stretched, blown or tightened, change must take place for the instrument to be tuned. OK, some instruments can be played and even make music out of tune, but it won’t be pretty. Tuning an instrument requires that you adjust the tuning mechanisms on it to an accepted standard. If a guitar string is not tightened enough the string will be too loose and produces a dull flat sound; too tight and the string may snap. A drum not tightened enough will be loose and have a flat sound; too tight will cause a broken head.
As instruments in God's hands we are constantly being fine tuned -- changed, stretched or tightened-- brought to the place of acceptance as we participate in God's Great Symphony. In these last few weeks I feel like I have been stretched clearly to the point of having a broken head. But alas, my head did not break! Of course, God knew He had not reached my breaking point, but this drum must surely be ready to play!
In what is commonly believed to be his last letter, the Apostle Paul writes to his protégé Timothy:
“… Be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” – II Timothy 2:21
And in the book of Romans, Paul again encourages us:
“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” –Romans 6:13
I want more than anything to be used by God, to bring glory to Him with my life. It helps me to know I am in the Master’s hands. He’s gently holding me, carefully polishing and tightening so that I will be a beautiful instrument. It’s by nothing I do except continue to walk in obedience, with humility and a reverential fear for The Lord; staying available and willing to be tuned. Making every effort to endure all circumstances with a good temper; pressing on to the prize that waits ahead; fighting the good fight holding on to faith and a clear conscience.
You may be saying, " Tamara what does that look like? How does that translate into everyday life?" Well, for me it comes down to one thing really and that is keeping God's Word in my head and in my heart almost every minute of every day if at all possible. At my job, I have my bible open on my desk. In between calls to customers throughout the day, I will glance over and quietly read out loud a verse that spoke to me that morning in my meditation time. Keeping 3x5 cards handy with scriptures rewritten in first person as a confession to speak over myself and my family through the day. This keeps my focus on God and His promises and not what's going on in the natural world around me.
My family may be living in a temporary uncertain situation today, but you know what, we are happy and have such peace because we know that we are children of The Most High God and that with God ALL things are possible to them that believe and we are believers not doubters. We are expecting something good to happen any minute. As we continue to walk in that expectancy we keep a grateful heart which will make way for the next blessing just around the corner.
I want to encourage you today, put your focus on God and in His Word. Call out to Him. Let Him be your Master. Allow Him to take you gently and lovingly in His hands. Before you know it you will be in tune and ready to make beautiful music in God's Symphony.