Growing up, I spent the majority of my time either in a musical, or singing with the “Gulf Coast Youth Choir”. I love singing. Something about it releases so much energy and excitement, and it always feels like this incredible gift from God. In grade school, I would eagerly await the time I could leave the school day behind, and rush off to a rehearsal to read the new music for the choir or for a musical in the community theater.
Music notes seemed to jump off of the music sheets…first into my eyes, then to my heart, then straight into my vocal chords. I loved letting my eyes scan over brand new music sheets, in preparation to sing with the group of people who shared my same passion.
We always did vocal warm ups for a very long time. Sometimes I’d get bored and impatient because I so desperately wanted to start singing the new material. I was tired of the scales, dulled by exercises, and ready to get to the good stuff! But the instructors would always remind me of the importance of protecting the vocal chords first and foremost.
I was reading some of the Psalms of David this morning…and they really hit home for me. David was so frustrated, so defeated, and feeling so alone. He actually said he was starved for God’s affection. (Ever felt that way before?)
David went on to say, “I can’t sing in your choir if I’m buried in some tomb.”
These words hit my heart and woke me up from my early morning daze. How many times have you felt that you know God has plans for you…you know He has a purpose for you to be here…you know God wants to include you in some pretty amazing stuff…and you continually hear that God always loves you and He’s always there. Well, if you were going to be honest with yourself, you’d probably admit that while you “know” and “hear” all of those beautiful things, sometimes it doesn’t look so true. Sometimes it doesn’t look all that possible.
David felt this way. He called for God to break up the fight. He said he was so tired. So tired and so worn from his circumstances that he talked to God about dying. Many times, we want so badly to live out God’s will and build the kingdom of God, but sorrow, pain, people, and life’s circumstances can hinder us. Back to the singing, how easy do you think it would be to sing if you were overcome by sorrow? Have you ever felt that horrible feeling of choking on tears? You know, when your throat dries up, and even the slightest swallow is excruciating…kind of like swallowing a huge pill with no water.
You might not feel like you’re ever going to be able to sing in God’s choir today. You might not feel that you’ll ever be able to overcome the obstacles you’re facing today. Maybe you think that it’s impossible for you to make it past the pain of today into the beauty God has in store for you. David felt this way. We aren’t the first people to ever feel these things. Your obstacle might be anxiety, depression, debt, loneliness, isolation, cancer, sex, or maybe it’s just life & the people around you knocking you down at every turn. You’re not alone…and you can still be used by God.
I can’t even count the times that I have been knocked down, hurt, and in situations (sometimes my fault) in which I thought God could never use me for anything. I thought for sure that was it. I felt alone. I felt like God didn’t care. Often times I felt that God didn’t even see me. Were my choices a pathetic cry for help, in hopes that maybe God was listening?
If they were, here’s my answer: He was listening completely.
Unfortunately, sorrow & struggle is inevitable. But like I said before, we’re not alone. Friends, mentors, family, and God centered relationships will become your vocal instructors. These people are crucial to your health…and crucial in the process of protecting the gifts God has trusted you with. You will fall. You will stumble. You will ache. But God still wants to use you. But in order for this to be possible, we need these “coaches” in our lives who protect us and keep us going.
No matter how damaged your heart is feeling tonight, God is still here and still has plans for you. And no matter how damaged your vocal chords may be today, you can still sing in God’s choir.