When the Music Stops

I spent many years of my youth in a small country church, which will forever hold a special place in my heart. There are names I fondly remember of the children whom my brother and I looked forward to seeing each week. Memories of playing basketball, hide and seek, and of course, singing.

If there is one place I have to say I most remember falling in love with music, it was there, at Mount Olivet Baptist Church. I adored the adults who helped and taught us. They were early mentors whom I loved. My child’s memory recalls them as kind, giving, and extremely caring.

We also had 5th Sunday singing. Every 5th Sunday the service was given over to praise and worship. We had two pianos, the ones with the tall wooden backs to them that we used regularly. On 5th Sunday however, it was of great fun to watch some of the men bring up their guitars. Good ole’ country gospel. Sometimes my Grandma would sing, and I most remember her singing “Life is like a Mountain Railway”.

I treasured the music. The singing. I saw these events with the eyes of a child, and they held magic. Magic that is hard to recapture, because in some ways, I don’t think it was meant to be “recaptured”. I think the Lord has left those magically faded memories with me so as to “inspire” my future.

Inspiration that leads to spontaneous singing and dancing in the kitchen with my son.
Inspiration that leads to intimate moments of singing with my husband while he plays his guitar.
Inspiration that leads to sometimes just worshiping the Lord in my kitchen with Spotify, or Pandora, or YouTube.

It was one of these mornings that I came across this song.

And long after the Music stopped, the song continued, in my heart.
Because for me, when the music stops, it’s really just the pause before the next notes begin to play. A lot  can happen in that pause, however, the music always starts up again.

In my heart. In my hopes. In my dreams. In my cry to my Father, arms outstretched, tears falling, in the hidden protection of my home. Because sometimes, that’s how my Father and I find that special time to love one another, through music, a beautiful and creative gift He gave us. I’ve learned to even find “quiet time” in the music occasionally.

With that being said, I’d like to share the song that has been on my mind this week. The song that when I play it, I feel my heart stretching out to God and laying low, waiting for His love and grace and mercy and power and forgiveness to renew me and refresh me and restore me. I’ve also included the lyrics below, along with my own thoughts as to how this particular song speaks to me.

Amazing Grace
By: Jars of Clay

I grew this heart into a drifter
I never felt the roots I bare
I sold my sight, oh brother, sister
For a mountain of fool’s gold, it’s gone
Only God knows, God knows where

A description I relate too. How many times have I placed idols before obedience? Wants above worship? Over time, those things will turn the “heart into a drifter”, a heart that becomes lost because it no longer recognizes the light. And in that time, all the things that are gained, are fool’s gold in comparison to what the Father offers. His peace. His Love. His treasure that’s beyond compare.

My soul was restless for redemption
My feet were lookin’ for a place to stand
Well, ya know I ain’t got no life
And you know I ain’t got no money
Just the faith of an empty hand

Empty hand

Redemption. A redeemed life. Oh How I long to embrace and LIVE A REDEEMED LIFE! A redeemed life does give us the solid rock to stand upon. We will still face trials, however, we will be grounded when facing them as opposed to swaying in the sand or being uplifted and tossed about by the wind. What life do I have without my Faith? And what an image, to go before the Father with the Faith of an empty hand. An empty hand that HE can move, that HE can fill, that HE can use with purpose.

Amazing Grace, I feel you coming up slowly now
Like the sun is risin’, heat on my face
Oh love that keeps on shinin’, don’t let the shadow come
Ya know I got to feel your healin’ rays

Oh yes. My soul this last year, how His grace has really began to fill it. How He is healing my heart in so many ways, teaching, encouraging, loving, and yes, with Grace REBUKING when needed. I’m learning that for myself, there cannot be redemption without the rebuke. How hard it is, yet, how comforting at the same time. I almost welcome it instead of run from it now. I hope to grow to welcome it. Because His healing over it, it is wonderful. It is beautiful. It is joyful.

I hitched a ride, I was a beggar
and I had murder on my hands
I needed water to rinse these stains
But only blood could remove what’s spillin’
And pardon me the blame

“I had murder on my hands”. I did. I do. I will again. In the sense that my sins are murder. That until I realize what they do to my heart, my life, my spirit, my thoughts, until I acknowledge who I am before Him when my heart is covered in sin, only then can I repent. Only then can I fall down humbly and receive the fullness of what He has to offer. And what He has to offer, there are no words to explain. No sounds to convey. I can try, and I will try, because for any who are lost or broken or desperate for peace and love and healing, I know that He is the answer. He is the light. He is the Truth and the Way. To be washed by His blood, His love poured out for us, is something I am only just beginning to really understand. The image of being washed by blood I once found disgusting and gross. As recent as a year ago I did not like that image. However, as I grow to know God more, Christ more, the Holy Spirit more, I see a beauty in it that is slowly being revealed to me. To the unbeliever, I can understand why it seems too far fetched, too fairy tale, story like, or even “wrong”. Yet my heart, the healing of my heart by His Salvation, His Love, His Grace, oh my heart! AMAZING GRACE WASH OVER ME. How can I not fall before you humbly?

Amazing Grace, I feel you coming up slowly now
Like the sun is risin’, heat on my face
Oh love that keeps on shinin’, don’t let the shadow come
Ya know I got to feel your healin’ rays

Amazing Grace, I feel you coming up slowly now
Amazing Grace, I feel you coming up slowly now

Amazing Grace, I feel you coming up slowly now
Like the sun is risin’, heat on my face
Oh love that keeps on shinin’, don’t let the shadow come
Ya see I got to feel your healin’ rays
Ya see I got to feel your healin’ rays.

You Know I got to feel your Amazing Grace.

OneWord2013_RedeemedSmallSizeMonthlyOneWord150

My hope is that you find music in your life.
That when the music stops,
you still find song inside your soul,bursting to come out.
That maybe, when you are all alone, you find it bursting from your mouth, arms outstretched, eyes closed, just you and Him.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella


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8 thoughts on “When the Music Stops

  1. I love your word! I am a music lover. I sing and I listen to it all day long. I love how lyrics in some songs can really move you. I have had Mandisa’s Lifeline on repeat lately as a reminder that God is my everything.

    • Thank you for stopping by, and for sharing what song you have had on repeat. 🙂 It gives me something to check out myself! I love music as well and welcome new encouraging songs to listen to!

  2. I was also raised in small Baptist churches where my Dad was the pastor, I played the piano and my sister played the organ. Sometimes on Sunday nights we would have “request” night and people would call out the number of their favorite from the hymnal for the congregation to sing. I loved that!

    I still have my tattered Baptist hymnal and the piano I got when I was 9. Those old hymns stir my heart to this day and the lyrics are so profound. Thanks for introducing me to the Jars of Clay song – and all my best to you as you pursue what it means to be “redeemed” this year!

  3. I too love music! The Lord uses it powerfully in my life! Love your word. REDEEMED…which is my favorite song right now!
    Hopping from Only A Breath!

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