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 life’s program.
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 in mind.