Cold (cool, refreshing) is to life, like silence is to music.
There is more to music than sound; there is also silence. The sound of music is not just the measured vibration of the notes:
- A-440, the standard pitch, is a note sounding at exactly four hundred forty vibrations per second.
- Half that, A-220, and the note sounds an octave lower.
- Double it, A-880, and the pitch sounds an octave higher.
- All other pitches vary in relation to this standard, each with a precise number of vibrations per second.
Real live people making music on real instruments make their own imprecise versions of the pitch. The standard is seldom an exact match to the sounds musicians make. It is called being “out of tune.” Playing “in tune” is the mark of a fine player. It isn’t easy and requires the constant attention of the musician.
Silences are also precisely measured in terms of time:
- 1 beat,
- one half of a beat,
- one third of a beat, or
- 1 measure or more.
Rests are counted just as carefully by the musician as the notes.
How is cold to life, like silence is to music?
Life is heat but living requires periods of cold. Like an immature musician who skips the rests and practices only the notes, we tend to focus on the heat we need to stay alive:
- body temperature,
- spiritual temperature,
- circumstantial heat in the trials of life, and
- the chosen fires of discipleship.
Sometimes we need to cool down.
As we play our life’s little sonata, we begin to produce music that makes sense when we learn to count the rests as well as the notes. We do not panic when we feel ourselves cooling a bit, knowing that we cannot live long with constantly elevated temperatures. We also know that when the “rest” is over, the “notes” will be there again for us to play.
All in all, God never forgets that we are human beings, not divine ones. We need heat to live and we need cold to rest. Like the tall and strong hardwood tree that braves the northern winter without its covering of leaves, we rest during the cold seasons. We can rest because we know that the God of the winter is also the God of the spring. Warmth will come again as surely as grace flows like a River of Life from the Throne of God, and these bare branches will soon be hidden by the green of new leaves.
As our calendars cool, it is important that our hearts retain their heat for the Kingdom of God. Our music will be measured and comprehensible because the notes we play will be ordered and defined by the rests we count.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Psalm 103:6-18 NKJV
The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.
Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Lord Jesus, life keeps the heat on for. Sometimes it feels I will be overcome by the details, exhausted by the demands, and discouraged by the defeats. I know You are working all things together for my good and I look forward to those resolutions. As I follow Your will for my life, help me not to miss the rests, the cooling off times You also provide. Help me find moments to take deep breaths and relax in faith, knowing that You have me. Protect me from those who would steal my rest. And, Lord, as I cool down from time to time, keep my heart warm for You! For Your Glory, Lord. Amen.
The Haven of Rest
Words: Henry L. Gilmore; Music: John R. Sween
1. My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying,
“Make Me your choice”;
And I entered the “Haven of Rest”!
I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
I’ll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I’m safe evermore.
2. I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord.
3. The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest.”
4. O come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
And say, “My Belovèd is mine.”
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved