Lessons from my Old Guitar

Sometimes I feel so on top of things. The days are going just as scheduled. Everything is flowing nicely. I’m checking things off that endless “to-do” list and loving the feeling of accomplishment.

And other days, it’s quite the opposite.

Like today.

I’m sitting here in my cozy, quiet-time chair, not because the house is quiet, but because it’s not – and neither is my heart. It’s been a day of playing catch-up with my schedule, of telling little people to calm down, to read that sentence again, to pay attention, to do your chores, to wait just a minute while I finish helping your sister…It’s been that kind of day. That kind of week, actually.

So I’m asking God to quiet my restless heart.

Across the room, my old guitar catches my eye. It sits like a tribute to yesteryear, to days gone by when I actually had time to play. As I stare at it, I think to myself, I feel like one of those tightly-wound strings – stretched taut against the fretboard. I hate feeling this way.


But then I realize…that tension is precisely what makes the sound of the guitar beautiful. Each string is pulled just right, bringing the entire instrument into tune. It would never make music without the tension.

Music in general is full of mounting tension and then release, of chaotic dissonance and then resolve. These contrasts bring interest and beauty to the piece. They are marks of a good composer.


How very like life.

Though I long for peaceful days absent of struggle, I often find God composing beauty in the chaos. He is writing the song of my life through each and every season, each and every day. In the problems I face, He is crafting loveliness where there would otherwise be none.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe” (Prov 18:10). 

For every struggle, there is Jesus.

– When I need to problem-solve – ”All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in [Christ]” (Col 2:3).

– When chaos and instability threaten to engulf me – “And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge…” (Is 33:6).

– When my heart hurts – “Blessed be…the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3).

– When I feel the sting of rejection – “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. (Is 43:1). “…I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jer 31:3).

– When I am in need – “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).

– When I sin – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9). “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:12).

– When I am weary – “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28).

What a comfort to know that God is always there, always working to bring about good for His children (Rom 8:28). May we daily press closer to this God who meets our every need. And may we learn to hear the music He is creating in our lives.


What needs has Jesus met for you this week? How do you see Him orchestrating beauty in your life?

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Life-Giving Breath

Life-Giving Breath

“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being” Gen. 2:7.

“I wish I could give you my breath!” My sweet husband’s words still echo in my heart. This week, I’ve been fighting a really bad asthma attack. I’ve had asthma for almost as long as I can remember, but this one’s been a doozy! One night, as I struggled to breathe, my hubby said those words to me…”I wish I could give you my breath.” And I knew he would if he could.

His kindness, his sacrificial love, are a beautiful picture to me of our life-giving God. In Scripture, one of the first pictures we receive is of God breathing life into His creation. After speaking everything into existence by His powerful word, He stops to “get His hands dirty.”


He doesn’t just say, “Let there be man!” Instead, with intricate detail and loving care, He forms mankind from the dust of the earth. An amazing masterpiece. The crown of His creation. But still lifeless. No blood coursing through His veins. No mind whirring into action. No nerves sending rapid-fire messages. Until God breathed life into his body. Then man became a living being (Gen 2:7). It is God’s nature to create. To breathe life.

It is also His nature to bring back to life what was once dead. You see, after God’s astounding work of creation, mankind chose to commit cosmic rebellion, thus issuing death into the world (Gen 3). And for thousands of years, death reigned in humanity.

But like bookends upholding the story of redemption, we see God once again imparting life in the New Testament. Only this time, He Himself took on our flesh and breathed our air. He became like us so that He could give His very life FOR ours (Heb 2:14). We were dead in our sins, helplessly unable to bring our spirits to life. But with sacrificial love, He took on human breath, so that He could give it up again (Luke 23:46). The sinless One died a sinner’s death.


But death could not hold the Creator, the One who is the essence of life itself (Jn 14:6). He brought Himself back to life and now offers this same resurrected life for those who come to Him in faith.

So what does that mean for you and me today? If your spirit is still dead in sin , you can find forgiveness and life through faith in Jesus (John 3:16).

And if you already have this spiritual life within you, your days can consist of more than “religiously” doing the right thing. “…the blood of Christ…(will) cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb 9:14). Religious duty without an intimate connection to His life-giving Spirit is nothing more than “dead works.” Just as He breathed life into your soul at salvation, He can breathe life into your service for Him.

Those menial tasks you do, they can have spiritual significance now because the Spirit of God is living through you. That person you just can’t love or forgive, you can choose love now because it is the living, forgiving Christ who abides in you. That sin struggle that holds you captive, you can live victoriously because Christ has set you free from the power of sin (Rom 8:2). So bring your burdens, your responsibilities, your fears, your dreams, your everything to Him. And watch Him breathe life into all you are and do.

Where do you need God to breathe new life today?