Every year, my violin sings in the spring.
There will be one day in March or April when I’ll rest my beloved instrument on my left shoulder, draw the bow, and think, Yes, it sounds warm! It’s as if the wood opens right up to the environment and forgives me for putting it through extreme bitter cold and dry electric heating. The delicately carved holes release a velvety tone and the vibrations seem to ring a little further.
It doesn’t matter how well I’ve taken care of it in the winter – how many humidifiers I’ve tried, how many times I’ve taken it in for maintenance, how many different brands of strings I’ve experimented with. It doesn’t thank me for escorting it by lugging around a giant case stuffed with padding for insulation. Maybe the wood of the instrument still remembers being a tree that flourished in the spring because when it’s the right season – and only then – the sound blossoms.
Last summer, I unknowingly entered a season of rest in God after surrendering a lifelong dream to Him.
He was gently calling me to rely on Him, but I was busy trying to search for new direction. I made countless to-do lists, set alarm clocks and deadlines and tried to seek Him out so I could listen to what He wanted me to do (read: get busy with). I wrestled with earthly convictions, frantically looked for more ways to serve, wanting desperately to hear His next command. Instead, I heard His voice:
No, God, not that. I know You love me, but what can I do to show this?
Why? What journey are you choosing me for?
I kept praying and trying to keep busy. He persisted in responding. And finally, months later, finally my heart started to listen and my mind began to understand.
He wasn’t being silent about His plans for me because I was not being faithful or not trying hard enough. He was waiting ever so patiently for me to learn that resting in Him was enough.
He was holding my heart and teaching it to be still and know that I was loved and chosen, even when I wasn’t chasing after daily goals or larger ambitions. He saw the frustration and the tears, the breakdowns and vulnerability, and kept whispering truth as He held me a little closer.
While I was learning how to rest and find my identity in Him, He was quietly planting seeds to sprout when the season changed. I cannot see what will grow yet, but just as my violin isn’t fooled by my attempts to create a spring-like environment, neither is my Maker who loves me more than to overwhelm my soul with change and direction. He waited and created time for my soul to rest so it could resonate His truths again – not with the sharp, dry sounds of winter, but with the natural and warm amplifications of a season fit for flowering.
As I am gradually coming out of my season of rest, I find myself circling back to this verse:
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)
My hope doesn’t come from knowing what His plans are for me. My hope doesn’t come from my actions in serving Him. My hope comes from Him, who reaches down and tells me I am loved, chosen, and enough. In every season.