Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Facing the music

I started playing the trumpet in the fifth grade. Initially I had a natural talent for it. Of course, I wasn’t perfect. My dad tells stories jokingly of making me practice in the back of our wooded land, but at first I enjoyed it and I seemed to pick it up quickly. At some point in middle school, our band director decided it would be a good idea to have me and another trumpeter do a duet in a score in for a Christmas performance. As the parents, family, and friends piled into the middle school gym the words “stage fright” were an understatement. I freaked out. I tried to put the trumpet to my lips but the only notes that came out were shrill, wrong, and loud. An entire gym full of people witnessed my trumpeting downfall. Because of this particular incident I had an aversion to playing in front of people all throughout the years I played the trumpet. It was a fear that I didn’t care to shake. I lost my interest in the instrument and though I still played it in bands for many years after this, I wasn’t about to perform especially by myself.

When Dan and I moved to Freedom, one of the first things I felt God wanted me to do was to play the trumpet on the praise and worship team. I fought God on it. I did not want to ever play the trumpet by myself in public again. Didn’t He know the last calamity? To top that off I soon discovered that at that point the praise and worship team had yet to evolve to having things like sheet music. I was expected to make up the trumpet part. That was crazy. I needed musical notes people! The woman who was the keyboardist at the time was one of those people I consider musical genius’. She would try to turn to me, tell me what key something was in, and then tell me what note would sound right. Many times, I remember God telling me what to play. I would merely play the note and squint hoping I’d been right. The situation stretched me. I played trumpet on the praise and worship team at our church for several months. For me it was like walking through a very public maze and having to listen to God’s voice for direction.

Many times in life the things that terrify you, you’re going to have to face. You’re going to have to look at those things in the eye and know that God is bigger than you’re fear. When the Israelites were to go into the promise land in Numbers 13, all but Caleb and Joshua freaked out about the size of the occupants of the promise land. After not everything God had brought them through they thought they could trust Him to figure this one out so they relied on their own abilities and weren’t going to go in. God for obvious reasons get’s annoyed here. As a result, the Israelites don’t go into the promised land. They have to wander around until a new generation is raised and it’s only Caleb and Joshua from the old that make it into the promised land in Joshua 6. Here is God’s word to Joshua before he faces the promise land again. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

When David stood before Goliath, he had ever reason in natural thinking to freak out. However, he knew who God was. He was able to look at Goliath in the spirit realm and not just the physical. He was able to boldly go up to the giant and say in 1 Samuel 17:37 “Moreover David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” David knew who God was and He knew he wasn’t dieing that day!

We must be bold people. This is not a time to freak out at the things we see as giants in our lives this is the time to stand firm and know God is good. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Face the things you have to face but do it with boldness. Do it knowing that you have the victory in Christ Jesus. If God is for you who can stand against you! You are on the victory side. Wrap your thinking around that fact. You are an overcomer through Christ Jesus. Think about all the things God has done for you, and know that He is not about to let you down now!

I am thankful that I had to face my fear of playing my trumpet in public. It taught me that God is bigger than my silly fears. It taught me how to trust him even for things that seem so small.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States. Spend some time being thankful. Tell God for all the things that you are thankful for in this life. Take your eyes off of your fears and shortcomings and put them on the goodness of God. For He is able, to do all the things He said He would do.


  1. I'm laughing because I soooo relate to this. God has used my hammered dulcimer adventure to work on so much fear and insecurity within me. It has been both a horrible and wonderful journey.

    At one point in this journey, God showed me a vision, mental image, where I was standing on a mountain trail and all I could see was this monstrous mountain in front of me. It hit home to me how little progress I'd actually made and how far I had yet to go. I was very discouraged. Then he had me turn around, and there spreading out before me was an amazing, beautiful vista. He told me that was where we were going on this adventure and that my teacher is my tour guide who will help unfold the mysteries and wonders of it all. It totally changed my perspective. This was specifically related to my musical journey, but applies everywhere. No matter what we're facing in life, God is with us and there are glorious things to be discovered and experienced.

    I needed to remember that today because it's so easy to focus on the mountain, the challenges, fears, failures, and difficulties rather than on the vista. God wants to change our focus, as you have said.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


  2. PS... I forgot my name on this account is "MotherHeart." This is Sharon Gartley. :-)

  3. I assumed it was you Sharon. Glad it blessed you. :-)