Music has played a big part in my life – it’s been there for as long as I can remember.
From my mother leaning over my crib to kiss me goodbye because she was on her way
to the symphony with my grandfather, to the days that my sister and I twirled to
John Philip Sousa and danced through our house to the sound tracks of The Sound
of Music and South Pacific. We listened to classical and gospel music before I ever
knew what rock-n-roll was and my father was a fan of Johnny Cash, so Walk the Line
was a well known tune. With a grandmother who played eight instruments, primarily
the violin and the flute, and was at one time first chair violinist for the Charlotte
Symphony, it isn’t surprising that music has been instrumental (pun intended) in my life.
This past year, music has helped my soul heal. God has used it to remind me of His
love and promises. The praise and worship time during Sunday morning services has
been a balm to my heart. Although it is frequently contemporary Christian music that
is played during services and on the radio, the old hymns reach deep into my spirit.
Their Biblical truths are a lesson in themselves. This weekend I’ve been battling a cold –
it’s that time of year too! Last night a coughing attack woke me and when I finally got
it under control, sleep had fled. My mind could not settle, it jumped from one thing
to another with no clear direction and soon it had me angry over something that
hadn’t even happened!
I felt like I was drowning. It had been awhile since I'd allowed anger over past issues
and future probabilities to take me down such a path. I didn’t like it, but once my
mind started down that road, it was hard to change directions. The warning signs
were there, telling me to stop, this wasn’t healthy, wasn’t necessary, I was going
in the wrong direction; but, my mind flew by them like they didn't exist. Then,
something beautiful happened, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Love Tema, love. Do not let
the devil steal your peace, love.” An old hymn that I haven’t heard nor sung in many
years popped into my mind, Love Lifted Me. Immediately the angry thoughts disintegrated, replaced by the peace brought by the words of the chorus of that
song, “When nothing else could help, love lifted me. Love lifted me!” I could not
remember the verses only the chorus, but you can believe I was quick to YouTube it
and found this edition from Alan Jackson. I should not have been surprised that the
first verse so aptly described how I was feeling when I let anger win, “I was sinking deep
in sin far from the peaceful shore . . .” The anger I was experiencing was sinful, it
benefited none, didn’t glorify God and was destroying my peace.
But God is so good! He didn’t let me drift further and further down into the depths,
He reached down and lifted me out with His great love. God is never far away,
He is always right here, His Holy Spirit, always waiting to be acknowledged by each of us.