What a privilege and a blessing it was to attend the piano recital by two schoolmates from the Church Music side this evening. (Thank you, ED, for the invitation!) I had not expected it to be such a powerfully spiritual experience, which was not only because of the programme comprising classical pieces and hymns old and new, but also because of two moving speeches.
The first was by the dean, a quiet man who humbly asked for support and prayer for his students not for this night alone but in the years of service to come, before reminding us of the natural response of thankfulness for God’s gift of music itself, so very truly a gift.
The second was by ZN from Myanmar, who shared how he had wrestled through the preparation for the recital because of his mother’s ill health. He dreaded receiving phone calls, fearing it would be bad news from home. He could not surrender his anxieties to God.
Through the struggle, however, this was revealed to him — it was easy for him to praise God with words and music. (He has a brilliant, light touch at the piano.) And it was easy for him to lead others to do so. (He has a masterful flair for the appropriate.) But praise is more than words and music. Praise can also take the form of choosing to trust and obey God in any and every circumstance. Even in the darkest valley of misery, panic, despair and confusion.
Praise in the form of action. The kind of love that you can see and feel and touch and taste and smell, not just hear the words of. Just like how You didn’t simply say that You loved us — You showed us how.
So, somehow, even the good news of ZN’s mum recovering in due time became secondary to the deep impulse to dedicate my life more fully, more truly, and to have on the throne of my heart its rightful owner.
On the outside, He must increase, and I must decrease. On the inside, I am in the process of becoming not a horror-movie, hollowed-out version of the original me, fragmented and figment-ed, but the beginnings of the new creation me for whom my Lord Jesus came, the version that has life, and has it abundantly.
Thank You, Lord, for who You are. And thank You for my school, my schoolmates, our teachers, and everything You’ve been equipping us for. May we all walk in trust and obedience always just as you walk with us to the end of the age.