This post will begin with a music lesson. Every song must have several important components. A melody: which is composed of notes and rests put together to form the tune of a song. A rhythm: each song has a measure of time. Some are fast, while others have a slower beat. There are other things that make up a song, but perhaps these are the most important. When a musician is reading a sheet of music, they take these things into account to be able to play the song correctly. Depending on the time the song is written in, each note has its own measurement of time and a corresponding rest. So when the musician sees a note, they play that note and hold it for whatever amount of time the song is written in. When they come to a rest, they pause in playing. Because a rest signals a pause in the music, so the musician and the singer must both be silent. Together these notes and rests can make a beautiful song. However, if a musician were not given a measurement of time for the song, they would not know how long to hold the notes and rests. A note could be held however long or short the musician wanted to hold it, as would the rest. But it would not be how the songwriter intended the song to be.
This can be applied to life. I am the musician. God is my Songwriter. He is in control of the beat of my song. I only play what He writes. I don’t know how long the notes or rests are until he tells me. I have chosen to let Him do this. I could write my own song. I could make my own time. I could choose not to have rests (pauses) in my song. But no one writes more beautiful music than the Master Composer. He CREATED music. And for whatever reason, my life is currently in a rest. It has been paused, and I have been waiting for the next note to continue playing.
I found this brilliant quote by John Ruskin the other day, to explain further. (I don’t know anything about this man, but this was a blessing):
“There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by “rests,” and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. God sends a time of forced leisure, sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts, and makes a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of the Creator.
How does the musician read the rest? See him beat the time with unvarying count, and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between.
Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the “rests.”
They are not to be slurred over nor to be omitted, nor to destroy the melody, nor to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear.”
My song was written long before I was born, and it has been playing for almost 31 years now. So a rest that has lasted for a year may not seem long in the span of a lifetime, but in the moment, it has seemed infinite. I do not want to share the pause, because surely others will see how weird it sounds because it seems to have come suddenly and unplanned. How right now, it doesn’t seem to be flowing very well with the melody. Some, like me, may even decide that my song is at its end. (Not that I’m dying, but that my song is finished. That maybe God got half way into it and decided to walk away from writing the rest of it.) I know this isn’t true because God said he would finish the work He started in me. The only thing there is to cling to during a rest in your life’s song.
So here I share it. Not for pity, not for attention or help. Not for any other purpose but to show how good of a Songwriter God is. Because I am not so great a musician. I hit bad notes, sometimes I drag the rhythm, and there are even times that -I- walk away from the sheet music because it is too difficult and complicated. I get frustrated when I can’t play it right. But the Songwriter is there the whole time I’m playing. He knows how beautiful it will be when it’s completed. Not because of how I play it, but because of how He has written it. He encourages me to keep going when I want to give up on it. He tells me to be patient when the rest is holding forever and the next note is not even in sight. And no matter how many times I ask Him to show me the measurement of time so I will KNOW when the next note is coming, He says no. But He never stops beating the time for me. He even stays there, waiting for me to come back when I’ve walked away in frustration.
For a year, I have struggled with dizziness. Not the kind that comes in episodes and sets the room to spinning, (although at times it has been that way) but a constant, everyday off balance feeling. If you were to see me and not know, you might still see me smiling or laughing. I would seem fine. But inside, there is a constant battle to walk upright. Everything in my life that I have previously enjoyed doing is overshadowed by this bizarre feeling. Singing, playing the piano, sitting in church, watching my children play sports, homeschooling, shopping, dates with my husband, cleaning house, cooking, going out with friends, my photography business. The list goes on and on. Most days I sit on the floor as that is where I feel the safest. Sitting up or standing makes me feel like I am moving even though my body is still. Sometimes I cook on my knees and crawl around in the kitchen getting bowls and stuff from the fridge. Yeah, that is not fun to admit. Because I really don’t want pity or for people to think “Oh, poor Faith.” It is just life right now. My pause. A time of rest I do not want. We haven’t found a solution yet, and are still praying for wisdom to go to the right doctor who can figure out what this is.
It is hard. I want to complain, and many times, do. I want to know why countless prayers have not been answered the way I want them to be. I want to be normal again. I want to enjoy life again. I want people to understand that even though it may seem I’m not involved, it’s not because I don’t want to be. And this list could go on and on. I would like to interject here, that in all my research I have found MANY stories so much worse than mine. God has been merciful to me and I have not really suffered at all. I can always find someone who is worse off than me. I am alive. I am still breathing. I still have my family. And they have been a great help to me. He has given me friends to hold me up in prayer when I don’t know how to pray anymore.
I found someone though, who has been where I am. Someone who had cried out to God and God was silent. Who asked God if He had forgotten how to be gracious. If His mercy was gone forever. This person’s soul refused to be comforted. This person complained, was overwhelmed, was so troubled that words would not come. Here’s what he had to say in Psalm 77:
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest my eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, this is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of all thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
“I call to remembrance my song in the night:” Not every one is a musician/songwriter/singer. But God can still give songs in the night. When it’s as dark as it’s ever been. When all your questions just hang in the air, unanswered. And when you doubt that God will ever be good again, remember how good He’s already been. He has not changed. He is the same. The same God that has showered you/me with goodness in the past has not forgotten how to be gracious! His mercies are not shut up forever!! He is still good. Even in the “rests” of the songs. Those long pauses when life is silent. When maybe even God is silent.
My faith is so small. I feel like a hypocrite when I write things like this, and then the next day, I’m back to questioning God’s timing. Asking Him when it’s going to end. I have cried more tears in this last year than I would like to admit. And I don’t like being open and honest. I am a true introvert by nature. I hate talking in front of someone. Hugs make me uncomfortable and my personal space is at least a 6 foot circle around my body in diameter. I don’t want people to see or know the hard places. But those are the times when God is able to work the most. When I can’t, but He can. Anything anyone could ever possibly see in Faith, is not me at all. I hope with all my heart people don’t see Faith trying to get sympathy or attention. I hope they only see God. Writing my song, beating the time, getting the glory. The musician may be talented and able to play a song well, but the one who should get the glory is the Songwriter who had a plan in mind when He wrote the song. Who was able to create a beautiful, unique, COMPLETE melody from absolutely nothing. The musician is only the means of letting others hear what the Songwriter has accomplished.
I have a song that God gave me called “Songs in the Night.” I hope to be able to share it with you later and only if God allows. It is very dear to my heart because it proves that even in the deepest, darkest times in your life, God is still able to give you a song. Even if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket. But He only does it if you allow Him to write the song for you. You can’t choose your melody, or rhythm, or high notes, or short rests. You just have to trust Him to keep beating the time, while you play what He gives you, when He gives it to you. He is faithful even in the long, drawn out rests.
Here is the song
Words & Music ©Faith York 2016