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The Gift of Music in Times of Pain | Tara Wiley
S~ My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep. Job 30:31 (NLT)
O~ All throughout Scripture, music is used to demonstrate and emphasize emotion. When the Israelites rejoiced, it was with tambourine and dance and song. When Saul was tormented, David’s music brought him peace. When the prophets brought bad news, the people responded with laments. And here, in the depth of Job’s pain, he uses music to reflect his own angst.
A~ There’s a famous episode in the old sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray’s wife has an evening to herself. Ray wonders what she does on these occasional nights home alone, and is shocked to find her sitting on the sofa, playing sad music, crying. She explains that sometimes, you just need a good cry, and being alone with sad music allows her to let those emotions out. In our Western culture, we are so bent on being strong and positive, it becomes difficult at times to even be able to express our emotional pain. Music helps.
Today I’m going to finish something I set out to do a long time ago – hospice training to be able to go play music for the people and families under hospice care. It’s proven that listening to music, especially music that is personally meaningful, can bring pain relief, as well as allow a person to emotionally process at a deeper level. I am not a doctor. I am not a therapist. But I can offer my music, and pray it allows for a certain amount of respite from pain and gives opportunity for the listeners to process their grief.
P~ Lord, thank You for the gift of music. Thank You for the opportunity to use it to bring peace to grieving, hurting families. Help me to be a reflection of You when I play; give me wisdom to know how best to use the gifts You’ve given me in these circumstances. And Lord, I pray for all who are hurting today. Help them to enter into their grief in a way that brings healing – in a way that leads them to be open and vulnerable before You. When we surrender our pain, You bring peace. And that is the most beautiful hidden treasure for the suffering. Thank You for Your presence, Your peace – and for music that draws us closer to You.
Faithful | Kelley Deases
S~ Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6 (NIV)
O~ When we think of Abraham, considered the Father of our Faith, we can think of him as a superhero of sorts, who faced every challenge with unwavering courage and who always did the right thing. That’s where we would be wrong. He was only a man, and the Bible records a good many of his missteps and blunders. We even read of those areas where he failed to demonstrate faith, the very character trait we know him for all these generations later. But his sins did not define him; Abraham, when considering his life overall, was a man of great faith in God.
A~ Consider Renae: She believed God and it was credited to her as righteousness. I have a new friend and coworker who, although she is younger than me and in many ways her life is following the trajectory mine did (but over a decade ago), is such a model of believing God. She believes God can restore her marriage, even though her husband left their family home and has taken up with a string of other girlfriends over these past couple years. But if her husband is closed off to this, in his stubborn free will, she believes God can bring her a godly man to share her life with and help her raise her little boy. And regardless of if or when either of those happen, she believes God will provide for the needs of herself and her son. It is not a “Pollyanna” outlook that “it will all work out and everything will be fine.” No, she has a confidence in knowing God holds her future and she can trust Him with it. As a consequence, she just exudes joy and peace and love, which are clearly not reflective of her circumstance but borne out of her knowing she is a child of God.
P~ Father, I ask You to bless Renae and Leyton in whatever they are facing. But I also know and give You praise You have brought them this far and shown Yourself faithful to them, as she has shown herself faithful to You.
Adopted! | Kim Chipman
S~ But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? Galatians 4:9 (NIV)
O~ Paul is talking about the difference between being slaves and being adopted. When we believe we are adopted we are free! We do not live under the law. It seems the Galatians were falling back into legalism and Paul is remindeing them of who they are in Christ – and who they are not.
A~ This is what I feel could be the root of my current battle/struggle. I kind of feel stuck and frustrated with myself. I know things you are asking me to do…and I’m not doing them…and I’m not really sure why. I feel like I’m choosing slavery over freedom. Is it legalism? Maybe. It certainly isn’t faith and trust.
P~ Lord, help me get tot he root of what has me stuck. I know You want me to give it to You and I’m trying! I know You don’t want me to be enslaved again. Help me please!