He withdrew . . . to a solitary place. (Matthew 14:13)
Pauses in a musical score are important. They’re significant—used
to enhance the drama of the music. But in our lives we feel they are
interruptions. We don’t want them. We want to play every note in our
If we have to sit quiet while others continue to sing their solos,
we become impatient and want to push forward. It’s like a musician who
doesn’t like his pauses either, and continues to play—we both get into
trouble. We each get out of sync with ‘our’ song. God reminds us not
to look what others are doing [when set aside], and to trust Him. “Be
still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over
those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices”
(Psalm 37:7 NRSV).
But, these pauses of interrupted plans, sickness, and frustrated
endeavors that God orchestrates, isn’t for wimps! It’s not about
putting our feet up to do nothing. As a professional counts out each
pause with precision, we too, should take our ‘time-out’ seriously.
It’s a time to prepare, to listen, to wait, and to pray: A time to
grow in faith, and gain strength and wisdom. We are to anticipate the
Maestro’s cue, ready to play at the precise moment: “Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say,
wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 NKJV).
The one playing the chimes understands waiting. While everyone
else performs, he prepares: when the orchestra is silent—the audience
waits. Then it happens. The chime’s clear, beautiful ring resonates
throughout the auditorium! The moment is pivotal. It’s what the
audience will remember. Had the percussionist come in earlier, no one
would have heard, later, the impact would have been lost. As we wait
and anticipate we too, find God’s timing is perfect.
But for God’s majestic melodies, He requires obedience and
variety. This is why He’ll rearrange the players when least expected.
Consequently, a trombone player who is asked to play the bells squirms
and cries; “Wait, I didn’t study this. I didn’t sign up for this!”
Hmm, how many times have we said this to God!
But at the conclusion of the Conductor’s Masterpiece, a smile
creeps into the corners of the trombone player’s lips, and the
crinkles of his eyes smile. The unplanned pause created a new
relationship with the Conductor: one that wouldn’t have happened if he
had stayed in his original section.
God’s purpose isn’t to harm. Our pause comes with an assignment,
given to no one else! It doesn’t matter whether we play the chimes, or
the trombone. As we wait, pray, and anticipate we’ll discover we have
a strategic, integral part in God’s symphonic piece that flows like
ribbons of color. Trust the Master Conductor—He has a grandeur picture