Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dealing With Restlessness & Disquiet

Some days I can't escape a disquiet in my soul. Silence echoes off the emptiness and sends shimmering waves through my mind like a water mirage on a hot highway. The restlessness unnerves me. I want to pace but I don't know why.

I pray, I read Scripture, but the peace they bring is more from duty than from relief.

Do you know what? That's OK. Sometimes I just have to do what I can and leave it with the Lord. Especially when I don't know exactly what I'm praying for. I live in a fallen world and sometimes I'm incapable of understanding all the mechanics of the spiritual around me. I think that's called walking by faith; trusting God even though I don't exactly know or understand what's happening around me.

But the disquiet has a purpose. It urges me to pray, to be alert, to spend time in the Word. But I've also learned---surprisingly---to listen to some music. Yes. Some days we need music in addition to prayer and Bible reading.

What is it about music?

Do you know that humans are the only creatures who create music? Birds sing, angels sing, stars sing, even whales sing. But only humans create new combinations of notes, melodies, and tones. Only humans translate what the heart feels--joy, sorrow, yearning, giddiness--a spectrum of emotion--into something the ear can hear. Music expresses to the outside world what's going on in the heart.
Music also leads me to worship...an essential but often overlooked Christian practice. I was reminded of this by my pastor's urgings on Sunday to really think about the words of the hymns and to offer singing as a form of worship. Singing is so hard for many grieving people. How is it for you?

Those are just some of my random thoughts about music. I never thought about it much until singing became so emotionally overwhelming after my husband died. Did you find that, too?

This disquiet in my soul, this restlessness . . . sometimes it's a thirst for music and worship. The existence of music, and my ability to relate to it expresses that I am part of a larger community, I'm a piece of the puzzle we call life. I dive into it today, not only giving my life to God, but worshipping Him and asking Him to take it in the best sense of meaning. The following hymn translates my feelings into words and music. What songs express your inner, unspoken mysteries?


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  1. Ferree I have been dealing with restlessness for about two weeks now and it does throw you in the Word and prayer. At church Sunday we sang "How He loves us" and I just love that song and needed it Sunday. I've been struggling for the last couple of weeks and can't pinpoint as to the why but I guess it's just part of the grieving process. I am clinging to Him right now that is for sure!! Thank you for your posts..they always hit home!!! Love Angela

  2. Dear Angela, I love that song too, and it's good to hear how the Lord provided it along with today's post to speak to you. Keep clinging to Him through this storm for He's faithful and true and the source of all hope. He'll see you through.

  3. I found the opposite after my husband passed. I felt the only way I could praise God was through music and Praise & Worship songs because the words were provided for me, as I couldn't find words to pray. Sometimes I couldn't see the words through my tears but the music moved me to a level of peace that was not my own doing.

  4. There were so many times I din't have words either. Music ministers in powerful ways. I'm glad you found that so true.

  5. My husband and I are musicians who met in our college symphony orchestra and my husband was a wonderful school orchestra/band teacher and a youth orchestra conductor until he went to Heaven. We always enjoyed harmonizing while singing our beautiful hymns in church. And this is now one of the times I feel him so close to me, even though I sometimes shed tears, especially during "On Eagles Wings" and "Amazing Grace."

  6. Tears can be a sweet accompaniment to your music for those who understand. What a beautiful legacy. I would have loved to listen to you.

  7. Beautiful song....and this should be our desire...to give all of ourselves to Him...this inspired me today...thanks.

  8. Music is wonderful solace for a greiving soul, in the old testament when King Saul was upset he would often call for David to come and play beautiful music upon his harp. The Bible tells us as David played his harp the evil opressional spirit left King Saul removing his grief and became cheerful,

    {1 Samuel 16:23} even though David's music was a natural means, it was attended with the power, presence and blessings of God. Thank you Lord for the gift of music, and the gift of hearing the beautiful melody and lyrics. There have been many times in my journey I sing hymns as an offered up prayer. One of my l favorites is "Hold Me Safe Till The Storm Passes By" :-}

  9. The example of David playing his harp for Saul is a perfect example. I'm so glad you took the time to mention the scripture passage for that. Wonderful theology and encouragement in hymns and they serve as prayers when our words won't come. I looked up Till the Storm Passes By---what a comfort! thanks so much <3

  10. Beautiful hymn, Ferree. Thank you for sharing it. Music has always been a big part of my life, yet after my husband's death, I could only bear instrumental songs as so many lyrics proved too painful. In God's gentle mercy though, eventually I was able to listen and enjoy music again, even the wonderful love songs. We had been so much in love. Now, I place God's name into the lyrics of many of those love songs...very soothing.

    1. I never heard that idea before---placing God's name into the lyrics of many favorite love songs---I'm going to try that sometime too. Thank you Sheila, you always touch my heart.

  11. God has used music in such a big way throughout my husband's illness and now in this next chapter. Many times the right song will come on at just the right time.

    When I was feeling absolutely overwhelmed by circumstances, he used "overwhelmed" by Big Daddy Weave" to remind me to be overwhelmed by him instead.

    Just yesterday I heard on the radio about a teenage boy who flagged down police and asked them to show him how to tie a tie. My little guy won't have his dad to teach him how to do this. His teenage brother can show him. Not to mention any number of "uncles" brothers in the Lord who would be happy to step in. But it should be his dad. For this and so many other things. As my thoughts started going down unwanted paths the Lord zeroed in on the song playing on the radio - "hello my name is child of the one true king" by Matthew West. Their Father sees and knows and will care for them.

    Finally, this one excites me. It's a brand new song by Big Daddy Weave - "My Story". That song is MY song. If I tell you my story I'll tell you of Him. I heard this for the first time two days after a conversation with a friend. We were talking about looking forward to seeing how God will allow me to use what I'm learning in all of this to expand
    His kingdom and disciple other women. I told her, "our story is not about cancer, it's about the faithfulness of God." She said your story will never change anybody's life, but it will give you a credibility from which to share his story, which will change their life. Yes and amen. This song is the song of my heart.

  12. "our story is not about cancer, it's about the faithfulness of God." You will make many hearts sing, Jen. God bless you and your wise friend. What an encouraging conversation!


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