Saturday, February 17, 2007

Never Alone

I was at a Thursday night rehearsal for some music we’d be doing in church in a couple weeks. This particular piece was beyond my usual frame of reference, a recitative from the Elijah.

Now, I’ve been singing my whole life it seems. I remember it driving my parents nuts from the backseat on long car trips. But this genre was going to be a stretch for me, both musically and vocally.

So I practiced. I got the CD and sang along with it for a week. I even loaded it on “repeat” in my MP3 player and worked around the house with the music next to me as I folded laundry. I listened and sang with it so often that one day as I was doing the dishes I found I had most of it memorized, so I felt ready.

But … when the rehearsal began, and I was to sing all by myself with an organ instead of the recorded orchestra, I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t find the entrances or the pitches or the rhythm.

And worst of all, it seemed the more I tried to focus and count, the more lost I became;
so, not only was I embarrassed, I was disappointed.
I really had thought I could do this.

I couldn’t not do this. We were all there and this song had to be performed. The organist tried talking me through the rhythms. I was trying, but it was like something on the tip of your tongue–you know it’s there, but you can’t quite get it …

I started the song again and as I did the baritone beside me started to count, “123456, 123456 …” quietly keeping the rhythm under me: steady, foundational. And soon I found I was singing. As I “got it” he would get quieter, and when something tricky would come he’d be just a little louder, and when I was well on my way he dropped out all together.

That support changed everything: both my ability and my confidence in my ability.

So often we get into situations we think we can handle and find that we can’t. Or, there are times that something is thrust on us that we have had no preparation for, and we flounder. In either case, how invaluable is the support of a friend–not someone who stands aside and gives advice, but someone who comes along beside and says by their words or their actions, “You can do this. I know you can handle this. I’m here to help in whatever way you need me. I will be a steady place for you when everything else is tumultuous.”

In this experience my thoughts also turned to how sure a foundation we have in the faithfulness of God, this God who has said to us that His mercies are new each morning. That He will be our rock and fortress, a place of safety in time of trouble, a light and the lifter up of our heads. He has lifted us out of a pit of despair and set our feet on solid ground and steadies us as we walk along. (Psalms 40:2)

We are always in the presence of God.
We can never not be in God’s presence.
Every moment He knows where we are. (Psalms 139)
He has promised that He will never leave us, or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
He is always beside us.

So what?

So, know this, deep within your heart, when you’re in a situation you think you can handle, or one that has you in totally over your head, that you are never alone.
Never lost.
Never abandoned.
Never without hope or help.

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.” Psalms 16:8

1 comment:

chrisd said...

That was another beautiful post, Beck.

You have a wonderful gift and this is a wonderful way to share it with others.