Friday, October 21, 2005

Bach and Sunshine and The Lord of All

As the sun streams through my morning window, Bach string concertos fill the kitchen with familiar and cherished strains. To me they go together. Early on sunny mornings, Bach is always in order, especially the string concertos. For years they have played at this time of day in my kitchen. And it is always perfect.

Will these wonderful concertos always accompany sunny mornings at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and solitude? Will there be a season in my life when such things are stripped away? Would I cherish the memory of these times or be torn apart with longing?

Throughout history, people have been pulled from familiar surroundings, catapaulted into a world turned upside down.

I think of Corrie Ten Boom. I remember her hardship during WWII as she endured imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp. She survived and returned home. The first night spent between fresh, clean bed linens in a stranger's home stirred fond recollections of earlier days. Yet the time and place was never the same. How would I handle that? Would it be devastating, or merely bittersweet? Would I still be able to look to tomorrow with hope and expectation?

The children of Israel knew times of captivity, taken from their native land, longing to return.
"By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" How shall we sing the LORD's song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! Psalm 137" Here we see their brokenness. Would I be broken or would I keep hope kindled in my heart?

We must learn to cherish the blessing but trust in the One who blesses; treasure the memory provided in the day but look for new treasure tomorrow. We cannot afford to love this world. We cannot let our eyes be wandering, enraptured by the beauty of the season. The heavenly realm, the eternal kingdom, the Lord Himself must captivate our eyes and hearts and minds.

If we cling to anything less, consider anything less to be the resting place we will be, at best, saddened. Perpetual disappointment will be our portion as season unfolds to new season, as years turn youth to old age, as familiar things are left behind. We will be saddened and even undone.

Jesus Christ alone can be a constant wellspring of joy because He alone is unchanging.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

"Lord, help me look to You in this day and always, as my guide through this life and into the next, keeping my eyes focused on the author and finisher of my faith, my hope for this life and even forevermore! You are so worthy of all my love!"