Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Yesterday was a very difficult day for me.  I found myself having to make a decision that was very painful, but realized that there was no other option in the scenario I faced.  Because of this decision, I'm experiencing somewhat of a loss, so in many ways I feel as if I'm mourning.  Throughout the day, I made my way from distraction to distraction in order to try and alleviate the pain I was experiencing, but nothing seemed to fill the void that had been created.  The pain has been deep.  The pain has been real.  And it appears that for now, the pain cannot be avoided.

Pain is one of the byproducts of decisions we make.  Right or wrong, most of us make decisions that eventually shake us from peaceful apathy, and create a series of events that cause pain in our lives, as well as others. When the full force of the pain is overpowering us, sapping our strength, making us ill and sometimes rocking the very foundations of our lives, we seek relieve in any form it can be found.  Some of us find consolation in prayer, some in exercise, some in talking with friends, some find the edge taken off by alcohol, drugs or other forms of self-medicating.  But one area that I have found peace in is music.  I have very little musical talent, but have always been consumed by the music of others that have the gift of touching the heart, stirring the soul and calming the storms that rage within me from pain.

Since yesterday, I've found comfort in many artists that I've found healing in over the years.  One in particular caused a profound effect on me.  It caused me to close my eyes, drift away from the pain I felt, if only for a moment, and imagine a world that did not exists at the time.  I found solace in not only the words of the song, but also in the haunting melody that seemed to lift me from the pit I was in.

It's no surprise to many of you that know me, but I'm a pretty emotional person.  Most of the time it's a blessing, but from time to time, like today, it can be a burden and a curse that weighs me down and causes me to question why God made me the way I am.  I guess that's why I relate so much to the life of King David.  Reading through each Psalm that David wrote, you can hear every human emotion in vivid description and eloquent poetry.  David was by no means afraid of expressing his emotions, regardless of how high the mountain top might have been, or how low the pits of despair may have found him.  David was an emotional man, and through that emotion came incredible creativity, imagination and strength.  One of those areas of creativity came in the form of music that he had been gifted with at a very young age.

In 1 Samuel 16, we read a story of a man named Saul, who was the first King of Israel.  Saul had been faithful to God but made a series of bad decisions that began to effect his mental state.  The Bible says that an evil spirit came over Saul, because God's Spirit had left him.  We can probably assume that Saul was consumed by overwhelming fear and depression.  We know nothing about what alleviated the pain that consumed Saul, except for one thing: Music.

1 Samuel 16:23 says, "Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."  Think about these words for a moment.  Saul is struggling through the shear agony of depression, fear, panic, anger and frustration.  The choices of his life have overwhelmed him as he realizes that God has all but left him completely.  He's drowning in his sorrow and helplessly grasping for a life ring to save him.  And when the waves are about to crash over him one last time, he hears the sweets sounds of David's harp.  They call to him from above the surface of the ocean, he is captivated by the enchanting melody and is swept to place of peace.  A place of escape from his pain.  If just for a brief moment, the music from David's harp, soothes his anguishing soul and bring the relief he longs for.

You may not connect with music in the way I do, but chances are there is something that touches your soul in the same manner.  Whatever it might be, realize what David's harp is for you.  Who is a "David" in your life that can come beside you and easy the pain that can come from life's journey.  We live in a chaotic world, don't we?  To think we can escape pain is unrealistic at best.  My pain will soon dissipate.  I will rise above the waves that have crashed over me for the moment, and at least for the time being, David's harp sings melodically to me, as I close my eyes and rest, and let the peace envelop me, if even for one brief moment in time.  God has placed a healing refuge in my life and I thank Him.  I thank Him for the melodies that dull the sharp edges of pain.                               


Rhonda de la Moriniere said...

Wonderful Jake! I had to rad it and see how God helped you "rise above" today!
Our pain is never wasted in Christ, His Light is always shining in to our darkness.

Vicki said...

i think of a dear friend - newly widowed. i think of two dear friends - recently divorced... one who was completely broadsided... both, in different ways, suffering deep pain and loss. this world is filled with no end of pain. only Hope , in my view, keeps despair at bay....It is my sense that the more I experience a Living Hope in my heart, the more that pain in my life - will be transcended -, but not erased.