First Things First
God endows some with natural musical abilities and yet others acquire their skills through much effort that is, extensive training. With such training one could spend a small fortune. I wanted my children to study music as part of their home education; however, I had no such skills and music lessons were expensive. One day I received an email from an unsolicited music organization saying that they provided free music training, instruments, and private lessons. I thought it was a big hoax so immediately I trashed it. A few months later the advertisement appeared again; into the trash bin it went. Then a third time I received that email but instead of trashing it, something (or should I say Someone) triggered me to investigate the matter. I completed the online applications and asked a ton of questions to satiate my doubt. A few months later I received an invitation to the organization’s open house. The coordinator stated that spots were limited and admission into the program was on first come-first serve basis. I was nervous. Surely I had blown my chance since I had rejected those earlier emails. To my surprise my four children got into the program under the wire. In fact, they were next to the last names on the list. Go figure, when Jesus says yes, who can say no? When God is for you, who can be against you? To put a cherry on top, the program was actually free, with no strings attached. God promises that He will give us the desires of our heart. He had orchestrated (free) music lessons for my children’s education!
So, one day as we travelled from her college class to orchestra practice, I noticed my daughter transfixed in her books. After inquiring, she complained about her study partner, who failed to submit her portion of the exam study material. Because the exam was the next day, my daughter had to produce the material herself—leaving her with no time to study for the exam. She continued to work feverishly and I encouraged her that things would work out fine. I needed encouragement myself, but I maintained my composure for my witness sake. Now more than ever, I needed to stand on what I knew to be true, God is faithful. Trying to figure out what to do, I thought about cancelling music practice. This would give her about four crucial, additional study hours. As tempting as it was, that did not sit right with me because I knew that God was fully aware of the situation. By clear and convincing evidence, God showed us that music was as much a priority as the free college education He had blessed them with.
Would the decision be to attend orchestra practice and risk failing the exam or to cancel practice and risk trusting and seeing the hand of God? Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. I was not willing to toss a coin or give any other excuse for not trusting God to see us through this situation. For the duration of the trip, there was a spiritual battle warring within. When I reached my destination, the time of decision was at hand. I parked and one by one the kids got out (including the daughter with the exam dilemma). When they entered the building, there was no chance I would change my mind. Did I make the most prudent decision? Would I be happy or regretful? How would God resolve the issue? While I waited for the session to end, these questions, among others, swarmed my mind, although a sense of peace filled my heart.
When my daughter returned from orchestra practice, she charged her books once more and burned the midnight oil. The next morning she took the exam and received an “A”— the highest score in the class. “Oh, what needless pain we bear when we do not take things to God in prayer.” God did not need my help, just my belief in Him. Victory was sweet and all glory goes to God!