Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Tune

Yesterday afternoon, Leah and I had been playing the piano together, and I pulled out my fiddle to play that for a bit as well. As with any stringed instrument, it needs to be tuned each time before playing it. Usually, this is just a tweaking and doesn't take long, but with our recent drop in humidity, all of the tuning pegs had slipped and the strings were loose on the instrument. As I worked to tune them back up to where they needed to be, the parallel between this fiddle and our spiritual lives came to mind.

Just as the fiddle needs to be 'in tune' in order to play the sweet melody that is pleasing to the ear, just so our lives need to be 'in tune' with the Lord in order to walk in obedience to Him and be pleasing in His sight.

The longer the instrument is allowed to sit without being tuned, the further out of tune it becomes . . . which again, is the same with us. The longer we spend away from the Lord, away from reading His word, away from prayer, the further 'out of tune' we become, and the longer it can take to bring our lives back into harmony with God's word.

When the fiddle slips as far out of tune as it had yesterday, it also needs several 'rounds' of tuning done . . . first I needed to tune each string and get them close to where they needed to be. Then came the fine tuning to bring them into perfect tune. And it took work, and time. 

It couldn't be done instantly or haphazardly, but was done carefully and according to what the tuner indicated needed to be done. Again, another parallel! Our maturing in Christ must be something that we carefully and thoroughly seek and strive after, and all according to the written word of God which acts as the 'tuner' for us. For as it is written in Psalms, His Word "is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105.)

As I shared these thoughts with my Dad last evening, he brought up another point . . . and that of the humidity. If the humidity had not dropped, my fiddle would not have been nearly as out of tune as what it was. He related this to outward influences that can hinder and/or damage our walk with the Lord and can lead us away from a walk of loving obedience to God. If we had been proactive and had been humidifying the air in anticipation of the humidity falling, the tuning wouldn't have been nearly as much of an issue.

Yet again, a parallel for us . . . if we are proactive, if we examine and test the things that come into our lives, if we hold "fast the faithful word" (Titus 1:9), if we continue in studying and applying the Scriptures, if we continue in striving to grow and obey, if we continue in prayer and seeking the Lord, these negative influences will have much less of an impact upon us. Or, aspects of them may become non-existent.

This all brings to mind a passage of Scripture that has been running through my mind quite a bit the past week or so . . .

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word" (Psalm 119:9.)

It is through His word that we cleanse our way, and are able to become and stay 'in tune' with Him. The Psalm continues on to share:

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee . . . I will meditate in Thy precepts, and have respect unto Thy ways. I will delight myself in Thy statutes: I will not forget Thy word(Psalm 119: 11, 15-16.)

Oh, how very important and necessary His word is!

"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true, they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
in keeping them, there is great reward."
Psalm 19:7-11

-Posted by Sarah


  1. This is such a lovely analogy, Miss Sarah. It brought to mind those who only hear or read God's Word on a Sunday. The rest of the week they are surrounded by the things of this world...and thus, heavily influenced by them. It is easy to understand why so many remain "baby" Christians...for you can't possibly be obedient to a message you hear for only an hour per week.

    "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
    I Peter 2:2

    I'm such a concrete person...I like to think of it in terms of my craft projects. If I am working on an afghan, and I only spend one hour per week adding to it, it will take me years to complete it. And until I complete it, I will not have had the practice to try something more challenging.
    It is the same with God's Word.
    Each time we visit It, we glean new lessons and insights. How can we obey if we don't know how to obey???

    Hope you are all warm and safe inside today...winter is definitely upon us!
    God bless,
    Mrs. Laura

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Mrs. Laura! I always so appreciate reading the insights that you share. How true that this relates to only hearing or reading God’s Word on a Sunday, and then setting it aside for the rest of the week while the things of the world influence. The result is sadly as you shared, a lack of maturity in believers. I love the verse that you quoted . . . it is one that we have often discussed together as a family as well.

    The analogy that you shared with your craft projects is such a good parallel. It is amazing to me that no matter how many times I read God’s Word, each time many new insights are gleaned. His word truly is “living and active”, and if we read it a hundred times, we would still not yet have probed all of its depths. I love the question that you ask “how can we obey if we don’t know how to obey?” Such a simple question with such an obvious answer, but when it comes to our spiritual lives and maturation, it’s often neglected. And I know in my own life there is room for growth in this area . . . we can never read or study God’s word too much!

    We are staying warm and safe! I hope you all are as well what with the big storm that went through there. It sounds like you were expected to receive a lot of snow! Here, there is a thick blanket of snow covering the ground right now, and it is quite cold out . . . -3 degrees this morning and feels like -13 with the wind chill. As you shared, winter is certainly here! :)

  3. What wonderful food for thought! It is so important to seek to keep the Word of God ever before us. There are so many opportunities to mediate upon His precepts even as we go about our daily routines. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful reflection.

    "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:7)

  4. Thank you so much, Miss Linda, for your comment! I would agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the importance of keeping the word of God ever before us. And as you shared, meditating upon it throughout the day and then striving to put it into practice as well.

    I love the verse that you quoted from Deuteronomy! How clearly it shows the very important role of parents towards their children . . . and also the importance that God’s Word should be in each of our lives. Thank you for sharing it!

  5. As another violinist, I appreciated this post, Sarah! The analogies drawn are very true. Thank you for sharing them.

    Another thought: I know (from experience! :) that tuning a seriously out-of-tune violin can be difficult and can take a long time. As you shared it is the same with us; it takes time for us to grown 'in tune' with the Lord. Yet it is proof of the Lord's love for us that He works on us, bringing us into tune with Him. If He did not care for us, He would leave us (like if I did not care for playing my violin, I would leave it un-played and consequently un-tuned), rather than lovingly shaping us to His plan.

    Yes, thank you for this post, Sarah. It was very searching and apt; I shall recall it each time I have to tune my violin now!


  6. I am glad that the post was a blessing to you, Anna! And thank you for the thoughts that you shared as they were very much appreciated. The parallel you brought up about this proving the Lord’s love for us and patience with us is excellent. I hadn’t considered it in that way before. What a blessed Savior we have who loves us so much that He not only died for us, but is so patient with us as He teaches us and molds us into vessels for His use! It fills me with such awe and thankfulness to think about!

    Another parallel that came to mind as I read what you shared is that just as we love to play the violin and thus work to keep it in tune, if we love our Savior, how much more should we desire to walk in obedience to Him as a result of that love. Like you, I don’t think I’ll ever tune my fiddle again without thinking about all of this. :)

    Thank you again for sharing this wonderful food for thought, Anna!

  7. These are wonderful thoughts, Sarah! As Abigail just got a violin, I know how long the tuning can take! My husband and I were just talking a few days ago about how important it is to study and know God's word. There are so many today who say they are "led by the Spirit," but they neglect to study the word of God, and it seems they then fall into error. We have recently seen this in several teachers and even some friends. It is a scary thing and very sobering. It causes us to want to cling even closer to Him and His revealed will in the Bible.

    Blessings to you!

  8. Thank you for sharing all of this, Joy! And how well I agree with the danger that comes in the current movement of being “led by the Spirit,” while neglecting the studying and applying of God’s Word. And from what we have seen, so often the individuals in this belief structure place this “leading” at a higher level of authority than what the word of God is. How dangerous something like this is! And like you, we, too, have recently seen this . . . and I am sorry that you have as well in even some friends recently. As you shared, as we see these things may we cling ever closer to the Lord and read and study the Scriptures as our source of truth and wisdom. And then seek to share that truth with others. Thank you again, Joy, and may the Lord bless you and your family!