Wednesday, March 9, 2011

His Most Excellent Harmonies

A close friend and neighbor came to Andrew and I struggling with some heavy things last night.  This isn't the first time this friend has been overwhelmed with the negative thoughts and experiences in their life.  I empathize, because I too am someone that can get lost in the depth of my sorrows and frustrations, falling further each minute into a darker place.

Immediately I thought of a verse that I have shared with this friend before and have spoken to my own mind many a long night.  I found these verses in The Message to read like this:
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9
Before all you Bible snobs start questioning my spiritual soundness for quoting The Message Bible, read those verses again and really meditate on what they say to your heart.  I think it is a beautiful rendition of those verses, culminating in "God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

Our worried and burdened hearts can know that God makes all things work together.  That part of the statement has nothing to do with us.  God will make all things work together, without our help, but the really beautiful part comes next.  Paul says, if you stay your mind on what is true and live submitted to Christ, God will work you into His most excellent harmonies.

When I read that I thought about life as God's song...His story written and sung through His creation and His people.  When people sing in harmony it fills out a song, giving it depth and width and beauty, yet if you hear just one person's part the delivery flattens and seems to make less sense.  Sometimes all we get to hear is our piece of God's harmonies and it can become easy to focus on how much our story doesn't measure up to the fullness of our dreams.  Yet, the reality is that our piece is only one harmony in the fullness of God's song.  And that part does depend partly on us.  Will we allow God, through submission, to work the varying notes of our lives into his grand performance?

Friend, God makes all things work together...and that means you too.  But He doesn't stop there.  If you are faithful to dwell on truth and live for Christ, He will make you more than functional; He will work you into His masterpiece of beauty.

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