When my oldest son came to me and said he wanted to join the band, I was so excited. I have always wanted to play an instrument but let's just say my patience is a little thin so I never stayed committed to it. So when Jay told me he wanted to play an instrument I encouraged him to not only start but to follow through and take pride in his craft. He started out playing the clarinet and then transitioned to the tuba. I would often listen to him practice at home and every day he got better and better. When he had concerts, the band would practice a little before the concert began and it was amazing to see them all together. They had all practiced individually and when they came together they produced this one holistic sound.
When I first got sick, I didn't stop pressing. I was on a praise team. I was still teaching Sunday School. I continued to serve despite the pain I was in. Then it got to the point where my health continued to decline and I couldn't do the things that I used to do and it left me frustrated. My spirit wanted to continue but my body just wouldn't cooperate. I wondered what in the world was going on. I was already serving in the church, reading my Bible and paying my tithes. God did not have to force me to do anything because I was a willing servant. I looked at others being blessed and I felt like I was missing something. Did I do something wrong? Was my heart in the wrong place? Did I sin and fall short of God's glory? Then I began to realize that every trial and tribulation in my life is a part of God's purpose and plan for me. The devil wanted me to replay those negative questions over and over in my mind so I could drift into the pit of despair. I have since embraced the fact that because I am a believer there is nothing in my life that happens by chance or by coincidence. My very footsteps are ordered by the Lord. God is not surprised or taken off guard by my situation. It is a part of the plan.
I remember watching Jay practicing with the band and it was interesting to see how the director noticed when the string section needed to be more pronounced or the bass section was too loud. If she heard one section that sounded a little off, she urged them to replay their notes over again. When I heard them, it was all one sound. I couldn't really hear those distinctions. The director however knew that the orchestra would not be complete if one section was missing. Such as it is in our own lives. God knows that we need the trial and tribulation because it not only develops our faith but it pushes us forward to destiny. If we don't go through the tough times we will miss out on the totality of all our lives can become.
My situation is not a punishment from God and neither is yours. The God I serve is a loving and compassionate God and anything He allows us to go through is ultimately for our good. God has adopted us into His family. Those that He loves, He chastens. It may not always feel good and we may not understand it while we are going through it but every situation that we face pushes us closer and closer to our promise. Your life is like an orchestra. Every test and trial, every tribulation and every hardship is writing the lyrics to your own unique song. If one part is missing, your masterpiece will be incomplete. At the end of the day we have to realize that God's will is going to be done in our lives. We need to follow the director of our lives and listen to His directions. When we yield to His plan, the world will begin to hear the beautiful music that our lives produce.
When I listened to Jay in the band, I knew what instrument he was playing but I couldn't pick him out of the crowd. The orchestra was one sound. All of the sections were blended together beautifully. Yes he worked hard on his craft. There were times when he got frustrated while practicing but it was all preparation for the big stage. Jay was playing his instrument so seamlessly that I had forgotten about those nights that he wanted to quit. It was as if he had played that instrument all his life. When you come out of your storm, there will not be any residue left. Yes the flames may get hot but God has graced you to withstand the heat. On the other side of the pressing is complete and total victory. People won't be able to see what you've gone through. All they will be able to see is God's glory manifested through you. Stay in the fight. I can't wait to hear your song!!
Until next time....Be Real. Be Authentic. Be You!