I think it is about time that I spend a moment on another passion of mine, one even stronger than my passion for writing: music. My attraction to music has been evident ever since I was little. I can remember as a child how much I enjoyed it when Dad or Mom would turn on a song. When my two older sisters Joy and Amy Grace would play the piano, I would listen with keen interest and wonder how they always knew, usually without looking at a music book, how to play so beautifully.
My sister Joy started giving me piano lessons when I was ten. She was a patient, excellent teacher and nurtured my interest in music. Through many hard hours of practice, joy and tears, my love for music slowly unfurled its vibrant colors. Now, five years later, it is stronger than ever. Pressing the pedal, hitting the keys, and hearing the wonderful orchestra of frequencies known as a song all give me a special thrill. Now I, just like my sisters, can play many songs without looking at a music book. In fact, now I think can I play much better without one.
Then, a few months ago, I realized how much I enjoyed hearing the strains of the violin. When I borrowed my sister-in-law’s violin, I was captured by its beautiful sound. There was no stopping my passion now. Thus my mom took me to the Howard Core wholesale operation near us and I bought my prized violin. Her name is Zimrah, which is the Hebrew word for music. Few words can accurately express my joy to have her. My Mom quickly arranged for me to take lessons. My new teacher has been fabulous. At our first lesson she taught me everything about the violin: the fingerboard, where you press down on the strings; the end button, a small black button at the bottom of the violin; the tail piece, the piece where the strings go into the violin; the nut, a small piece at the top of the fingerboard; the scroll, where the tuning pegs are attached; and even the purfling, the small lines edging the violin. She even explained that the top of the violin is made of pine or spruce and that the bottom is made of strong maple. She is obviously a very thorough teacher and pushes straight for perfection. I am a perfectionist, so I enjoy her very much. Lessons have been such a delight, as have practices. The joy from bowing, the pleased feeling from holding my hands correctly, and the brilliant, vibrating sounds from the violin make me excited to learn more.
I also enjoy listening to music. My favorite songs are Hebrew songs, especially those in KSM Israel’s “Praise to Our God 4” and “Praise to our God 5.” They are so beautiful. Unlike most of the Hebrew songs that I have heard all my life, these albums are performed live in concert by believers in Yeshua Messiah. As for English songs, I enjoy some contemporary and older Christian tunes. And I love old hymns, including “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” “He Brought Me Out,” “We’re Marching to Zion,” and any hymns by Fanny Crosby. I also love the newer hymns, “Come, Behold the Wondrous Mystery” and “In Christ Alone.” Basically, I love any meaningful song about Yehovah and Yeshua.
Music is to me like an exhibition of what life is–happy notes, sad notes, vibrancy, tremors, and beauty. I say that I am not an extrovert or an introvert, but a “musicovert.” Yes, I made that word up. But it is true; I can handle being around people for a long time or being alone for a long time if I have music. Also, music helps me commune with my Father above. Not much can touch my heart the way music does, and I can’t wait for the day when I will sing unending songs of praise with all the redeemed in heaven.
“My heart is steadfast, Elohim. I will sing and make music , even my honor. Awake the lute and harp! I awake dawn. I thank you among the peoples, Yehovah. I will make music to you among the nations. For great above the heavens is Your compassion and as far as the clouds is Your truth.” ~Psalm 108: 1-4
I can write a poem or I can fill a page With a fictional story that I hope will engage Your interest or your liking, but I can surely never Make a fiction tale or find a true tale that is better
Than the most amazing tale that man has ever heard The astounding, great Good News, the true unchanging Word That in the beginning there was Yah, His Son and Spirit too They made all things we see around–the birds, the trees, and you
He made us and He loved us, although He knew we’d fall He knew we would not listen and would not obey His call So disobey we humans did, He banished us away From His marvelous garden, and we went our sinful way
But Yehovah still did love us even after we’d gone astray He sent His prophets and His Word to guide us in the way He saved us from His captors and He fed us with His bread But we would always scorn Him after we had been fed
So we continued sinning but Yah’s plan was far from done Despite our wicked, adulterous deeds He sent His only Son To save and free from hell and death all those who trust in Him To bring from darkness to the light, and deliver us from sin
He’s the king; He made us all; He died upon that tree For those dead, for those alive, and for those yet to be He gave His life so we can be joined one with Yah again To open up the gates of life so we can enter in
To go back to the garden we lost, to give Him praise and love To obey His Words so He can bless us from above How can I tell how much He’s helped me? He’s saved me; I’m His own How can I list all of His blessings? He’s going to bring me home
How can I make a better story? What’s more amazing than this? How could I live without my Savior? He’s my strength, my bliss How can I tell what all He’s done or sing all of His praise? His love’s beyond my mortal mind; I’ll praise Him all my days
I like that old saying not only because it is optimistic, but because it is found in the Bible. James says, “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” (James 1:2) and Paul says, “We also glory in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3 & 4). It also says in Acts that when the apostles were beaten for their faith, they rejoiced that they were found worthy to suffer for Yeshua’s name. I would call that making some lemonade!
Some people ask why the Father allows suffering (lemons) in our lives. It is my opinion that He gives us lemons to see if we will make lemonade out of them. Deuteronomy 8 says, “And you shall remember that Yehovah your Elohim led you these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you, to see what is in your heart, whether you keep His commandments or not…that you may know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Yehovah…so that you know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so Yehovah your Elohim chastens you.” Did you hear that? The Father chastens us, as we are His children. He wants to know what is in our heart. When life gives us lemons, we must listen closely to Him and learn what it is that He is trying to teach us. Chances are He will keep giving us lemons until we know how to make the lemonade.
When I hit a hard time in my life, I had to learn all these things. I wondered where the Father was during the sleepless nights and pain-filled days. Do you know where He was during those times? He was right beside me. Do you know what He was doing? He was refining me and making me into a completely different person than I was before. His Word became alive, and I started living on every Word that came from His mouth, as that Scripture says. If you trust Him, those hard times will leave, and when they leave, you will be better than you were before.
Do you want to make some lemonade out of your sour lemons? You can not do it without Him. He knows the recipe!