Time to Reflect

To me, morning is the best time of day. I'm sure it's because, especially in the first few moments after waking up, the waters of my mind are still silent and unrippled, giving God uncontested time to speak to me before the demands of mental processing begin to roll in like a relentless tide. I believe those moments are our heavenly Father's time with us as His children to begin to speak His Word into our spirits. It's like being summoned to the breakfast table, knowing fresh bread has been prepared to feed and fuel you for another new day.

Perhaps my favorite mornings of all are those on which God awakens me with a song. So often, the song He puts on my heart is a prophetic word that not only lifts my spirit but also gives strength and direction throughout my day. On mornings such as these, it's easy to live above the circumstances. After all, His mercy, like daily bread, has been fresh again today!

But what happens when the song of Lord is still? What happens on those mornings when we wake up and all that fills our hearts and minds is a sense of impending doom, heaviness or anxiety, and the only music we hear is the dissonance of lost and colliding notes? How do we victoriously continue in our walk and worship when we feel as if we are out of harmony with our heavenly conductor, and the same nagging verse, like the skip in a record, is playing over and over again in our heads?

Has the stream of God's daily mercy run dry? Does this feeling of disconnectedness mean there is no majestic chorus waiting to be sung? The answer is a resounding NO!

In the Psalms, David released his emotions through all kinds of music. His heartfelt cry to the Lord was the equivalent of the soulful 1970s tune that began, "Feelings ... nothing more than feelings." By expressing his response to his trials through blue tunes, David found a way to process his racing thoughts: He simply played (and prayed) them to the Lord through his music.

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This practice enabled him to work through the negative emotions, discover their origin and turn them over to God. As he listened to his own lyrics, he was able to encourage himself to put his trust completely in God.

"My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, 'Where is your God?' These things I remember as I pour out my soul... Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" (Ps. 42:3-6, NIV).

David's openness in expressing his conflicting feelings helps us to see that human emotions are common to us all. It's not unusual to wake up feeling "blue" or disquieted. In some ways, the presence of troublesome thoughts can actually help us realize that something in our life is out of place, and we need to listen to their message.

Blue tones, however, are not always an indicator that things are in discord. Sometimes after incredible victories, emotional letdowns occur. They also do not mean God has left us alone. In fact, His Word promises that He will never leave us or forsake us (see Heb. 13:5).

Clearly, heaven's quiet moments do not mean abandonment, and the silence of God is never the absence of God. Instead these hushed times may point to something else.

Have you ever noticed in David's songs the interesting word "Selah"? This term, meaning "divine pause," was used much like a "rest" is in our music today. It was designed to function as a reflective moment, a suspension of thought that would allow the full impact of the musical message to reach the listener. Nothing more needed to be said until the last phrase spoken was understood.

There are times in our lives when the song of the Lord is quiet. But don't allow that to discourage you. Perhaps God is speaking as much in His silence as He does in other ways. Use these times to stop, pause and reflect. Selah!

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