Every year, my violin sings in the spring.
There will be one day in March or April when I’ll rest my beloved instrument on my left shoulder, draw the bow, and think, Yes, it sounds warm! It’s as if the wood opens right up to the environment and forgives me for putting it through extreme bitter cold and dry electric heating. The delicately carved holes release a velvety tone and the vibrations seem to ring a little further.
It doesn’t matter how well I’ve taken care of it in the winter – how many humidifiers I’ve tried, how many times I’ve taken it in for maintenance, how many different brands of strings I’ve experimented with. It doesn’t thank me for escorting it by lugging around a giant case stuffed with padding for insulation. Maybe the wood of the instrument still remembers being a tree that flourished in the spring because when it’s the right season – and only then – the sound blossoms.
Last summer, I unknowingly entered a season of rest in God after surrendering a lifelong dream to Him.
He was gently calling me to rely on Him, but I was busy trying to search for new direction. I made countless to-do lists, set alarm clocks and deadlines and tried to seek Him out so I could listen to what He wanted me to do (read: get busy with). I wrestled with earthly convictions, frantically looked for more ways to serve, wanting desperately to hear His next command. Instead, I heard His voice:
No, God, not that. I know You love me, but what can I do to show this?
Why? What journey are you choosing me for?
I kept praying and trying to keep busy. He persisted in responding. And finally, months later, finally my heart started to listen and my mind began to understand.
He wasn’t being silent about His plans for me because I was not being faithful or not trying hard enough. He was waiting ever so patiently for me to learn that resting in Him was enough.
He was holding my heart and teaching it to be still and know that I was loved and chosen, even when I wasn’t chasing after daily goals or larger ambitions. He saw the frustration and the tears, the breakdowns and vulnerability, and kept whispering truth as He held me a little closer.
While I was learning how to rest and find my identity in Him, He was quietly planting seeds to sprout when the season changed. I cannot see what will grow yet, but just as my violin isn’t fooled by my attempts to create a spring-like environment, neither is my Maker who loves me more than to overwhelm my soul with change and direction. He waited and created time for my soul to rest so it could resonate His truths again – not with the sharp, dry sounds of winter, but with the natural and warm amplifications of a season fit for flowering.
As I am gradually coming out of my season of rest, I find myself circling back to this verse:
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)
My hope doesn’t come from knowing what His plans are for me. My hope doesn’t come from my actions in serving Him. My hope comes from Him, who reaches down and tells me I am loved, chosen, and enough. In every season.Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
This was beautiful! I love how you say that our Maker isn’t fooled when we try to create our own springlike environment. To use your orchestral analogy – we forget who the Conductor is and try to lead the orchestra ourselves. I’m not sure why we feel like we have to do, and serve, and strive, and earn His favor. That’s already been long finished on the cross. I think our Loving Father just needs to slow us each down some so that we can see, that without “doing” anything, we are, indeed, beloved, chosen, and enough. Thank you for this.
ps. I love your name 🙂
I love the analogy of God being a conductor! It’s so true, “It is finished” really means, “It is finished.” Thanks for your encouragement, Bev 🙂
Michele Morin says
Another verse comes to mind as well: Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
And I’m finding myself talking to my soul these days, letting the truth I read and hear speak over my restlessness and impatience.
Thanks for adding these beautiful words to the Truth Chorus.
So many gems in the Psalms – a Truth Chorus indeed. Thank you for sharing this one!
Stephanie Burke says
Thank you! I am currently in my last semester of graduate school and I’m fearful of not finishing. I needed this message. I am enough. I will finish despite the thoughts and actions of others. I am God’s daughter and through him, I am able to complete my work successfully, understand the concepts and be a master of the subject at hand. Masters degree here I come! Again thank you for sharing,you never know how your words will affect others. May God bless you!
Congratulations, Stephanie – graduate degrees are no easy feat! You are SO loved and enough, both in this very moment and when you complete your Masters <3
K Ann Guinn says
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this lovely truth!
Diane McElwain says
This was meant for me today. I have been restless, trying to hurry God onto the next thing. Children are gone and I can’t seem to find my place. Beautiful words spoken from the heart, thank you.
You’re welcome, I’m glad these words spoke to you today! God’s right there with you, seeing and loving and choosing you right where you are.
“He was holding my heart and teaching it to be still and know that I was loved and chosen, even when I wasn’t chasing after daily goals or larger ambitions. He saw the frustration and the tears, the breakdowns and vulnerability, and kept whispering truth as He held me a little closer….My hope doesn’t come from knowing what His plans are for me. My hope doesn’t come from my actions in serving Him. My hope comes from Him, who reaches down and tells me I am loved, chosen, and enough. In every season….”
Thank you Adora for these words…
I’m glad they spoke to you this morning, Ada. God’s right there for you in the same way too!
Nancy T. says
Dear Adora, Wow, what a blessing to read your lovely devotion this morning. “Last summer, I unknowingly entered a season of rest in God after surrendering a lifelong dream to Him.” I too feel that I had to surrender my dreams to the Lord as a classical saxophonist many times in my life (I am far older than you) and each time, I could rest assured that the Lord was using me for HIS glory, not my own. Our career is so much less important than our mission to serve Jesus Christ…..and I have to constantly remind myself of this statement. Continue to play on for Jesus with your violin and HE will bless your passion!
Another classical musician! 🙂
You’re right, it can be so easy to get caught up and want to use the skills “I own” for the wrong reasons, when His plans are infinitely greater. Thank you for your wise words and encouragement!
Pearl Allard says
Adora, this is completely beautiful!!! And I needed to hear that. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and God’s message.
I’m so glad these words spoke to you this morning! Praise God 🙂
Robin Vasaturo says
Wow! This is exactly where I’m at with God right now. This is a Word from God for me. I needed to read this today! Thank you for sharing.
Isn’t He so lovely like that?
Thank you, Adora, for speaking what I need to hear.
Another scripture comes to mind: “Alone in God rest, my soul, in silence. My hope is from Him. He alone is my rock, and my safety, I shall not be shaken.”
Yes, indeed, resting in Him is enough.
I love the imagery of a soul waiting in loving silence – in the reality of a busy world, not so much! But yes indeed, His love and grace are enough. Thanks for sharing!
This…yes this…as I enter a painful season of family discord …He IS Enough!
Indeed! I’m sorry to hear of the family discord. You are so loved and cherished by God, even in the most confusing times. He’s right there walking alongside, and I pray you will sense His presence and peace in this valley.
Melissa Henderson says
I needed this message today, as major decisions are being discussed in our family. Thank you for this wonderful message.
You’re welcome, I’m glad it came it the right time!
I’m struggling with a similar thing right now. I’m grateful for you words, Adora, as they offer some peace in my own season.
Isn’t the peace of God one of the funniest and loveliest things? I feel your struggle as you’re waiting for much anticipated answers, I hope they come soon for you!
What a beautiful reminder Adora and this scripture as well reminding us to rest when life seems to rush us in every direction and the Good Lord reminds us – “. . . to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” There was a time in my life when stress got the best of me and my husband drove me to a lake in the area to do just what God knew my heart needed. TO REST – NOT BE STRESSED!!!
I LOVE that verse and your story! Water always calms me down as well. Peace be with you today 🙂
Thank you for reminding me that there are times when it is the Lord’s will to rest and not rush on the next thing simply because that is what I’ve always done or it is what is expected of me. Thank you for reminding me that my hope, our hope is in God, our ultimate source.
You’re welcome! I hear you – there’s so much pressure to get up and GO, and sometimes it does take a reminder (or 2, or 156… guilty!) that we are just as loved when it is time to rest.
Nurse Connie says
Wow. This was timely. Just to realize, I am enough. Just where I am. I don’t need to keep up with the DO. I just need to BE.
I am loved. I am chosen. I am enough.
Tears of joy!
You most certainly are <3
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
I remember a season of resisting the quiet whisper from the Lord to come away and be still with Him, and when I finally did, it was a powerful season in my life. I emerged from that season with a much more tender heart to that call to rest because it is where we know Him more intimately.
That’s so beautiful, Kathy. Those quiet moments really can change the heart in such a powerful way.
Thank you so much for this! It is exactly what I needed to hear today After going through a very unwanted divorce, He is calling me to be still and quiet and grow my roots strong. I have been chafing against this and have been trying to run ahead of Him. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to know His plans for me. I just need to hope and trust in Him.
Oh April, I’m so sorry about the divorce and I’m glad these words spoke to you. I love how the Psalms were written out of moments like these that we can still relate to today! Even when it hurts, He’s got you in His arms and loves you just the same <3
Beth Williams says
Praying for you sweet sister!! May God send peace and comfort to your hurting soul. He will NEVER leave nor forsake you. Psalm 23: states “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death-I will fear no evil for Thou Art With ME”. He is walking with you now!
Rebecca L Jones says
Rest is so important. And He is both composer and Maestro. And I love your name.
Thanks! And He is indeed – I often wonder what music will sound like in heaven!
Beth Williams says
Such poignant analogy. Loved how you say your violin sings in Spring after a season of rest. The Lord wants us to slow down & rest. Rest so we can hear His still small voice. In this world we tend to go, & do with all the noise. I sense a Martha, Mary analogy here. He just wants us to sit at His feet and listen. Look around at His creation and have calm in our lives.
I’ve heard God say to me in the past few years to Rest. At times, just to rest in the physical as my life has been filled with much stress, hardships and no one in the natural to be there for met to talk to about these things. Later, to Rest……meant to rest in Him, yet, I find that hard to do lately. The building I live in is filled with so much noise. I have PTSD and am constantly triggered by most of these noises. I am on Noise overload. My van, having died a yr. and a half ago makes me stuck here, not being able to go to quiet places in the natural to just unwind a little, to relax a little. I’m overwhelmed and holding on by a thread. I ask God to hod me and not let go of me. It is difficult for me at this time to try and find new friends. I have decided to get a regular van, whenever I cana get out to lok at any. Will use a step stool to get up into it and am hoping I can have the ramp from my old chair put into the “new old van”, having it put behind the drivers seat and thinking I can back it up into the van and then get up into the van to drive. All the way it around, it will be more affordable. I don’t know that this is God’s plan, but I have been praying for over a 1yr. and a half for direction from Him. So, too, I’m been believing Him for a single story house with no one above, below, or below or side to side.
So much has happened in my life, way more then any one person should have gone through. I stopped playing my piano since I began living in apt. buildings and rarely ever sing. All the passion once had for music is gone. All passion to create is gone. Even, the passion I once had to help others to heal from the same things I endured, it’s gone. I know God is with me even though I don’t see Him. I know b/c of the things He has brought me through before. I’m tired, alone in the natural, needing rest but also needing to get out in nature where I usually see Him and so needing friends. Why do people who say they are your friend, leave a person, not even allow them to talk about what they are feeling, why do they leave when I can no longer laugh and build them up. ….. they walk away b/c they either figure I am strong and I can’t out of everything else, or they can’t handle what it is I am going through, or what to say or what to do……so they do nothing and eventually walk away. Rest….yes I want to Rest in the Lord…..sometimes forever. I am so tired to do even what it is I need to do or should do. I would appreciate prayer.
Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story here! I’m so sorry you’ve been through all of this, and that you’re finding yourself numb to things that used to bring such joy. And yet, through this difficult time, you are seeking to lean on God for rest and direction; how beautiful your heart is! He has not and will never abandon you, and I will be praying that this time of hurt would end and that He would fill and delight your heart again, with His peace and presence in the ways that only He knows how.
Thank you, Adora, for this gentle reminder, so poetically written. I too am a musician, a pianist and singer, and I loved your analogies! I too have been in a season of rest, for about a year, actually, but it’s been very hard to truly understand and apply what that word means because I’m a recovering perfectionist and have three children and a husband and a full-time job. What I’ve been resting from is leadership in ministry and my refreshing outlet has been participating on a worship team as a singer only, rather than coordinator/director. We were also active as pastors for 10+ years and have been working in a corporate roles these past few years. So, I’m starting to get itchy, asking God “what’s next?” and “when?” and have also been hearing those one word responses like you have. I’m curious, what does “gradually coming out of a season of rest” look and feel like for you? What new rhythms have you applied to your life in this season? What have you realized is the “now step out” type instructions are meant for today and tomorrow? Thanks, my sister in Christ, for your transparency and words of encouragement.
Wow Alison, you are certainly a busy person with many roles to fill! Thank you for sharing that here.
For me, I had a hint of working towards a new direction when I received a clear answer to prayer followed by an inexplicable peace in the late winter. (Funnily enough, that was also a one-word response, but a word packed with meaning that only God, who saw me through multiple moves, would know!) It wasn’t a roadmap of where to go, but a confirmation of continuing my work where I was put. In this time, I’ve also found my heart captured by writings and real-life stories about God’s plans for each of us according to the gifts He has given. A few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to read through these without angst or bitterness, but now they have come across as refreshing and hopeful.
I also think rest looks different to each person – perfectionistic instincts might tell us that our version of rest isn’t right because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Finding rest in singing for Him is absolutely beautiful – that’s the kind of rest I’m hoping to have eternally, ten thousand years and more 🙂