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Day 8

Day 8

Author: Alysa Clark
June 17, 2020

 

The older I get, the more I long for Heaven. It’s what my heart has ached for these past few months in the midst of things feeling so very hard. Like you, I’ve been sitting in the isolation and tension and noise  – so much noise – and I’m weary. I’m desperately longing for the promised harmony of Heaven. I need to know the Lord is beside me. Right this minute.

I’ve been sitting in the Psalms of late, as is a very regular practice of mine, especially when I’m having all the feelings. The Psalms are my go to when I feel unsettled, fearful or confused, and they keep me grounded in who God is, reminding me of God’s goodness even in our hardships.

I remember as a freshman at Moody Bible Institute, the first time I was able to attend a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert on Michigan Avenue. We were relegated to the cheap seats, but I was completely mesmerized by another Chicago ‘first.’ I was head-over-heels in love with my city and as a newly turned 18-year-old and a country away from home, I was eating it up, taking it in, and staying out late walking the streets, simply to see the sights and sounds. I was a small-town Canadian girl plopped down in a world-class American city. Sweet Home Chicago. And none of it was lost on me.

We arrived in time to hear the orchestral warm up prior to the performance, where each musician was in his/her own world, fiddling with strings and sounds and tempos and listening intently, ensuring their instruments were primed and ready. Harmony was lacking in that moment, but because of where we were – Orchestra Hall – I knew what was to come. And I knew it was going to be worth it.

At precisely the right time, the conductor walked on stage, bowed, took his position, raised his baton and the orchestra’s first notes played. I remember looking over at my friend Alice thinking, “UNBELIEVABLE. This is amazing!” Shaking my head in disbelief I looked back at the orchestra and was smitten from start to finish. Their harmony something to behold. I can’t remember the featured composer of the evening. I can’t remember what I wore or where we ate before the performance, but I most definitely remember the sound of perfect harmony. It was rich. Textured. Strong. Moving. Each musician was needed in order to weave the composer’s brilliant notes into a masterpiece. For me, it actually was a taste of Heaven. What is to come.

Queue Psalm 108.

“My heart, O God, is quiet and confident, all because of you. Now I can sing my song with passionate praises! Awake, O my soul, with the music of his splendor. Arise, my soul, and sing his praises!I will awaken the dawn with my worship, greeting the daybreak with my songs of light. Wherever I go I will thank you. All the nations will hear my praise songs to you. Your love is so extravagant, it reaches higher than the heavens! Your faithfulness is so astonishing, it stretches to the skies! Lord God, be exalted as you soar throughout the heavens. May your shining glory be seen high above all the earth! Come to your beloved ones and gently draw us out. Answer our prayer for your saving help. Come with Your might and strength, for we need you, Lord!”

 

Want to know what actually excites me? I see each of us that love Jesus included in God’s Divine Symphony. Right here. Right now. Together we get to make melodies and harmonies and join with others all over our cities, spreading God’s extravagant love. We each have unique instruments to play and tunes to sing that He has put into our individual hearts.  And when played together, oh, the harmony to be expressed. God is looking for us to join Him in redeeming the brokenness we see all around us so that “His shining glory will be seen high above all the earth.”

We are in a unique time in history. A turning point. And I believe He’s giving us a beautiful gift in calling us to a new collective song of praise, one laced with humility and kindness. One that stops and listens and learns and laments.  One that loves our neighbors. One that isn’t motivated by guilt but rather motivated by a heart set on understanding and sharing His love, simply as an act of obedience and praise to Him.

Is it hard work to learn to play an instrument that’s new to us? And sing songs we’re not familiar with yet? Yep. Does it take time and do we all have different starting points? Yep. But I am confident that if we each pray along with the Psalmist, “Come to your beloved ones and gently draw us out. Answer our prayer for your saving help. Come with Your might and strength for we need you,” that He will answer our prayers. He’s good like that. He promises that if we seek Him we’ll find Him.

Can you picture this with me? Could our generation be the generation that steps into the flow of His extravagant grace and moves with Him toward justice? Not an agenda. Nor an organization. Or a hashtag. Simply His beautiful justice for all. A Biblical thing. A Jesus thing. Heaven is coming, friends, with the promise of perfect harmony. But could we each step into His Divine Symphony here on earth, this week, next month, two years from now, bringing His Kingdom here, doing our part to share the gift of Peace and Hope to a world that is desperate to see the Light of Jesus? Our music should be a sweet, healing sound to the world around us, as He has freed us up to play our instruments and sing new songs for Him together. I can’t wait to see what that looks like in our church, with our people. He’s mixing together your giftings with mine and before long, if we stay at the work and push through the scary, beautiful harmony will be produced.

 

Prayer

 

Heavenly Father, we agree with the Psalmist that says your faithfulness is so astonishing that it stretches to the skies. Our hearts are quiet and confident in you alone, and we ask that you would use each of us as instruments of your Peace in a world desperate for healing and hope. Would you show each of us what it looks like to humbly pick up our instruments and use our voices to pass along your extravagant love. Would you awaken our souls with the music of your splendor. This is about you, God. We want what You want and we kneel before you, asking for your guidance as we step onto the stage of Your Divine Symphony. May you get all the praise and glory and honor. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Alysa Clark


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