My son has been playing piano since he was four years old. Now at age 12, he is very good at playing solo music. He has an amazing gift of listening to music and finding the keys by hearing. Whenever he plays a song, he memorizes the music first. This can be a good thing because he can play music without having the notes in front of him. But it can be a bad thing because he reads music slowly since he leans so heavily on his hearing. He can’t just sit down with a piece of music and play each note. He has to study each note first, memorize their order and then play the song.
This happens a lot with piano players since much of their study is done alone. In order for my son to get better at reading music, he tried out for our local youth symphony. He made the string ensemble, but the maestro understood that although my son plays very well, his music reading is slow. My son will have to work on reading each note as he plays them and develop that skill.
At the first rehearsal, my son felt lost. Not only had he never played with other instruments before, he also fell behind in playing the music. He couldn’t read the notes nearly as quickly as the other students playing violin and cello who had learned to play their instruments among the orchestra. My son who excels in solo playing appeared disoriented and slow. Although he has been playing piano for 7 years, his talent did not show as he played with the ensemble. It was like he was starting from scratch again. I have total confidence that he will learn quickly. He has so much strength in piano playing that I trust this weakness will not last long.
Many times our faith is solid, but we have relied on certain developed strengths, and God wants to improve weaker areas of our lives. God puts us in a situation where we feel insecure and lost. The people around us can’t see our strengths because the new circumstances only highlight our lack. We may want to retreat from the situation and save ourselves from being humbled. However, if we stick with it, God will bless us with greater ability and influence. He may humble us for the moment, but He will eventually lift us back up. If our faith is strong, we will grow and learn quickly. It may be difficult to start from scratch again, but God knows that our exposed weakness will strengthen rapidly. And pretty soon, we’ll be able to handle a vast variety of situations, so we can be used by God to reach a larger platform.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4.10 NIV)
Questions: Have you ever been in a situation where you felt lost and insecure? Do you think God was trying to grow you in a certain area? How can you humble yourself and trust that God has plans for your good?