Step by step rhythm
Flowed around me
I was floundering
Marching Band season
Called me joining
I was engaging
The years tick-tocked
Music and rhythm
I finally was moving
And the Spirit breathed
Wind of God
I was stepping
Holy Spirit carry me
Step by step
Marching in line
Daily in You.
This past autumn I had the privilege of watching not one, but five, of my nieces and nephews and dear friends’ children, excel with their high school’s marching band. It seems that in many places marching bands have fallen out of favor, eclipsed by the showier sports. (Was it always this way?) But I took great joy in following these young students as they committed themselves to a sport/music/program/activity that defies being placed in a single category.
I know because I was part of that nameless category over 40 years ago. And while my family asked questions about my memories, and photos buried too deep to uncover, it wasn’t until this Scripture popped up in my Devotions that I heard God calling me to explore those memories further:
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.”Galatians 5:25
The Greek meaning for that phrase, “keep step” is what set my mind to remembering. Follow this link to the Biblehub website to find this meaning:
4748 stoixéō (from stoixos, “a row, line, or rank“) – properly, walk in line, in strict accordance to a particular pace (“stride”); walk in cadence, “keep in step.”Helps Word-Studies
The young, chubby clarinet player fell behind at every practice. The Squad Leaders called out in frustration, “What is your problem? Why can’t you stay in step?” The clarinet player did not have an answer. Playing the notes while standing and moving around the field was hard enough. Even the hours of practice on the Band Camp field didn’t seem to make a dent in her progress.
She went home determined to learn. In the same way that her old clarinet was a puzzle to others, her inability to grasp the rhythm was a puzzle also. So she marched around her yard and her friend’s yard (the same one who climbed the willow tree with her in their younger days.) Left, right, left, right, … over and over again until she began to feel the words within the notes she played.
There came a day, and she couldn’t even remember when it happened, that the rhythm had etched itself onto her legs and into her mind. The music and the movements joined together, and she was flowing with the group. The years passed, and unbelievably, she became a Squad Leader. When a new recruit who could not stay in step joined the ranks, she remembered. And she waited. It would come, the rhythm would wrap itself around the new one’s heart also.
As the story flowed through my memory, I heard the Spirit blow His breath across my weary limbs. Where I felt so clumsy and out of step, He whispered gently,
Let me set the rhythm. Left, right, left, right … I will set the pace for your movement. I will carry you with the melody being sung over you here.
But I doubted the Spirit’s whisper when I sat in the Rheumatologist’s office last week. My Doctor suggested another re-trial with a medication. It had been the only medication that had ever affected this disease. He felt that because it had been over two years since I had to stop using it, perhaps my body was ready to receive help from it again. So, I was not too reluctant to try it again, until he mentioned the words, “an infusion this time.”
I knew that I had let fear take root in my heart. It wasn’t just the many medication failures, (24 of them in fact,) but new fears had been added in this last year. I had even voiced the fear to my husband earlier in the day:
Hallucinations, raging violent thoughts, crushing body pains, and side effects too numerous to count are not what I want to face. I don’t want to face any of that ever again.
But I could not ignore the prompting of my dear Savior. He had called me to move in step with Him, to trust Him with my fears. He wanted to set the pace for me, He wanted to lead, but I wanted to withdraw from the dance.
How could I receive His comfort and His sweet leading if I refused to join in with Him?
The significance of my #Oneword “WITH” was being made fresh again, here in my own place of fear and weakness.
So I will pick up my feet that seem so clumsy to me.
Here’s my heart again, Jesus. Lead the way, and I will follow in the rhythm that You have ordained for me. I will lean in close, hearing Your voice,
Left, right, left, right …
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Have you heard a whispered breath flowing over a fear in the path set before you?
I would love to pray with you, as together we place our fears before Him:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your eyes that see us. We are amazed that You would plan to carry us, to uphold us, and to lead us on Your own pathway. We confess that our fears about our weaknesses hold us back from joining in with You. Will You call us more closely to Your heart? Will You take our fears as we lay them at Your feet? We want to hold onto You as You lead us along this step-by-step journey. We want to join You, following in step with YOU.
In Your name we pray,
I am linking with: #TellHisStory