Eighteen months ago God took my music away from me.

2739599-classic-organI played the organ well enough to serve as choir director and organist in two small congregations. I sang well enough to be in a gospel group for awhile, get drafted into the Bible College choir, perform solos and sing duets with my wife. Though simplistic, especially compared to the modern obsession with complex musicality, I wrote a number of songs. And I sang as part of my worship privately as well.

Now my fingers act like paralytics when I sit at the keyboard, and so I don’t (sit, that is). My voice is gone. When I sing privately I do not even croak as well as a frog. Spontaneous harmonizing to music on the radio or CD player escapes me, so badly that I have to stop lest I rip the nerves out of my body by the wretched sound.

10807320surreal-musicWhen I served Jesus as a pastor the music served me very well, both for leading the singing and for telling the Good News in variety (teaching, preaching, drama, music). Since that possibility of ministry has been permanently ripped away by institutional religion the purpose of that function has passed. So God took it.

You see, “God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone” (Romans 11:29 God’s Word). But I know that music was not a gift, though my family is musical so I come by it naturally. For me music was a function only, and God could take it away.

It affects me, that is true, especially when I croak and crack in my private time. Yet since it was never really mine the loss wasn’t like losing a friend , but like noticing something was gone that wasn’t mine to start with.

The real point boils down to who do I think I am if I think I know better than God what is best for me? On the one hand, I have learned to “Trust and Obey”. On the other hand my minor disappointment reminds me of my place in God’s grand scheme. Instead of performing I now sit humbled. I’m now one of those non-musical people that I always encouraged, saying the Bible declares, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (Psalm 100:1a King James Version). So I will stay joyful, somehow.

Is there some ministry that you can’t do anymore, for any reason? Join me in the Once-had Circle. God is there, too, pouring out Paraclete on our Still-can Service.

Better to serve with what we have than whine about what we don’t have and sit idle.

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