2014-05-20 - It's Not about Us
I'm the primary accompanist at my church. I love doing it. My reasons for playing include the hope of helping to enhance the worship service, using the talents God has given me. and loving my fellow choir members whom I accompany. I don't do it for praise, but of course, when someone tells me how much they enjoy my playing, or that I did an "outstanding job," it means a lot to me.
But God and I have different standards, when it comes to the effectiveness of music ministry. When I'm playing something very complicated, and it all goes perfectly, I tend to be very pleased, and I think it has probably ministered to people. But recently during a service that was particularly meaningful to a family I love dearly, I made annoying mistakes during the song they requested I play in memory of their mother, and I went away quite depressed, for I felt I had really let them down, and desecrated a special moment for them. But God used that song in spite of me, and they told me over and over how much the song meant to them. In addition, at least half a dozen people came up to me after the service, affirming that song. I was just amazed.
What I failed to get through to my heart was that it's not about my playing. In fact, it's not about me at all; it's about God and how He uses the playing. I think we too often forget that in many arenas of our spiritual lives. If we all wait until we have everything perfect, no ministry will ever take place. We will always be human. We will always mess up. But God can use us in spite of - and sometimes even because of - our mistakes. We learn from them, and we can use that to help others.
Awhile back, a church where I was a member called a minister who happened to have been divorced. Never mind that it was twenty years before he came to us, and we had no idea the circumstances. For all we knew, his wife could have abandoned him etc. Some judged him just because of the d-word, and one family actually left the church over it. As for me, I felt he likely would be a more grace-full and less judgmental person and more compassionate because of this. And he was.
And whatever your and my weaknesses, God can use us, as well.
As Paul said, "God's power is made perfect in weakness."
Don't let your failings or fears discourage you. If you ask Him to, God will use you. Just be careful what you ask for, for you surely will get it!
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.