A few weeks ago, I attended a local university’s school of music recital. It was a showcase of all of their flute students, and I attended with my daughter who plays the flute in her school band. Of course, she had vested interest in attending, as she absorbed their level of performance and admired and analyzed the music. I was just there to listen, yet I found that the music spoke to me in a manner that music has not spoken in a very long time.
As most are likely aware, the flute sings out a very melodic sound much like a bird singing. I listened, and I heard in the music the journey of our lives: the melancholy serenades of longing or sadness, the joyful thrills of celebration and gratefulness, the harmonious highs of elation and accomplishment and the mournful swells of grief and loss. It reminded me that all of these experiences and feelings in our lives create a whole. We are not just people who are joyful and full of hope.
In many seasons of our lives, we grieve and experience loss. Sometimes we see the lows of our journey as our failures instead of a part of our humanity. What if we saw them as a part of the journey? What if the humility and reflection from the low times of those seasons created something more beautiful in the end? While the happy and joyous times of life are wonderful times full of memory-making smiles, they are not a complete picture of who we are as people. God’s word is full of stories of humanity’s grief and suffering. It is in those times, God can draw near to us. Jesus walked as a human and knew the hardship of life. He experienced loss and he cried the same tears that we do. It seems in some Christian circles that the idea circulates that once we give our lives to Jesus that he solves our problems and takes away our pain. Yet we were never promised an easy life free from pain. Instead, however, Jesus promises to walk alongside us so that we are never alone in our journey. Isaiah 41:13 states, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
What if the lows are to bring us to greater fullness of life and trust in Jesus? Scripture teaches, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” If we make our focus on Jesus, allowing him be close to us in our struggles and our celebrations as well, not only are we never alone, but we will be close enough to hear his voice. We were never meant to be on the journey of life by ourselves.
Jessica Carlson, Coach