As I sat in the last pew of our beautiful church watching and listening, each piano student took a turn sharing lovely music they had carefully chosen with their teacher as the crowning piece for their year of learning. Parents and grandparents seated in between, steadied their hands to record their child’s performance. Mothers held their breath and counted beats, some closing their eyes for a moment, others moving their head with the song they had also memorized by heart. Fathers listened with intensity to each note, praying their child through the song. The depth of devotion in the room was palpable; it moved my heart.
Then I heard Him whisper as I took it all in, “This is the way I watch you!”
Spellbound while you are playing your piece, breathless with hope for your best success, your proud Father watches you, pleased with your willingness to share your beautiful music. While you play, He smiles and moves His hands and head in time with your song. His heart is center stage with you, feeling your nervousness, understanding your apprehension, encouraging you along. And when you miss that note, the one you have struggled with so many times, He nods for you to keep going. Still smiling, He is pleased that you did not give up. He only wants you to play on and work your way through the piece He has assigned you to play. Rising and falling, softly and slowly, then sharp and quick, gathering emotion, your fingers take over the keys.
There it is. That moment when you strike the final chord, holding it to the perfect count. Then silence.
OH and then…THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE! Your Heavenly Father is leading the crowd in wild cheers for you! You thrill His heart! He is completely pleased by what you are doing! This is your Father in Heaven when He hears your words of thanks and songs of praise to Him! YOUR BIG, FULL, LOVING GOD accepts your bow and shouts, “ENCORE!” He says, “That one’s MINE!” And you have only to listen to know this is true. Listen, and you will hear Him cheering you on!
“You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (MSG)