A testimony to God's goodness: A few nights ago, I was just sort of meandering over the piano, when my wife asked me to play Timothy Spell's When God Unfolds The Rose. For those who have never heard it, you've missed a tremendous blessing; I suppose I could easily name it among my favorite songs of all times.
Because of how dearly I love to hear Bro. Spell sing this, my initial reaction was, "Oh, no, honey; that's not a piano song; that's a vocal." She replied, "I realize that; I was wondering if you could play it that way...sort of let the piano become your voice."
I could tell she felt hurt by my initial refusal, so I started tinkering with the melody. Before I knew it, I was "locked in", and the words were flowing through my mind even as they spilled out onto the keyboard. I tried to not "elaborate" the song anymore than Tim's original vocal version, but the more I played, the more the message came through my heart: When God unfolds the rose, He always gets it right...
Those who know me personally know that, for a couple years now, I have gone through a period of "waiting"; holding a secular job here in the Austin, TX area, trying to be faithful in the little things, feeling as though I had somehow made God mad at me. I even voiced my feelings in an email by telling some close friends "I feel like I've been fired by God." If you're called of God into any sort of ministry, and you've gone through this period of waiting, you can relate to my anguish.
As I played this song, the message of Hope, the promise that "the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance", rang through each note, each chord, each progression. I suddenly realized that, even in the subdued darkness of my little living room, the Anointing of God was flowing freely, moving on my heart, flowing through my hands, speaking to me (and, I suppose, to my wife who sat listening in the darkness), reassuring me that He's not finished with me.
The Anointing of God...something that I have always craved, whether in my preaching, or ministering in music. Nothing else matters, for nothing else can replace that awesome Touch of God's hand, when a holy God reaches down to touch an undeserving man, and suddenly Heaven and earth meet, and we are ushered into a supernatural realm where Promise becomes reality.
Surely when Bro. Spell sings, he must feel what I felt that evening; as I played the final chorus, the key modulation became the introduction to a crescendo of chords that I spilled my heart into. Although he was hundreds of miles away, has never met me, and knew nothing of what I was feeling, Bro. Spell's voice rang loud and clear in my mind, and I gave the song a voice: the piano sang the melody, felt the passion, and proclaimed the promise: When God unfolds the rose, He always gets it right...
When I came to the close of the song, and the final note had faded away into silence, I turned to my wife, tears on my face, and said, "You mean like that?" She was sitting in the darkness, her back to me, but I heard the tears in her own voice when she quietly replied, "Yeah...something like that."
God has been so good to me. I am never comfortable talking about my own music, my own gifts and abilities, but I do know that God has blessed me with an extraordinary gift to play skillfully unto the Lord. It may sound strange, I know, but I tell you before God, there are times that I watch my own hands, listen to the music that is flowing, and can only weep in a combination of humility and awe, because I know it's God that's doing it.
When the anointing flows, everything else is forgotten. In the quiet darkness of my own living room, I was once again ushered into His Presence, and blessed beyond measure to feel His hand on me again.
I only hope I blessed Him as much as He blessed me.